After Strong Start in Battling Coronavirus, California Now Leads U.S. in Cases

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A protective mask is displayed on a bear statue at the Oakland Zoo on July 29, 2020. The Oakland Zoo reopened to the public after being closed for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In mid-March, California became the first state to enact widespread shelter-in-place orders -- seen as a bold action to prevent the kind of spike in coronavirus cases New York was reporting at the time. Today, California has the most cases of COVID-19 in the country, surpassing New York with over 485,000 confirmed cases. Public health experts say California's early shelter-in-place orders effectively slowed the spread, but a combination of impatience with those orders, unreliable federal leadership and Gov. Newsom’s decision to re-open the economy has created a more challenging battle against the virus. We'll discuss the latest news on how California is handling the pandemic, including what's happening in the Central Valley, a new hot spot for coronavirus.


Eric Topol, executive vice-president, Scripps Research Institute; founder and director, Scripps Research Translational Institute

Ana Ibarra, health reporter, CalMatters