How California Can Contain Coronavirus

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Registered nurses help transfer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from a bottle into a syringe.
Nurses help prepare a vaccination syringe for coronavirus in Corona, Calif. on Jan. 15, 2021.  (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

As COVID-19 continues to spread and mutate nearly a year into the pandemic, many people struggle with assessing the risk of day-to-day activities amid a sluggish vaccine rollout. The numbers in California -- more than 3 million cases and more than 35,000 deaths -- while rising, are beginning to level out. At the same time, California Gov. Gavin Newsom promised that the state would vaccinate 1 million people in 10 days, but delayed data collection makes it unclear if the state met that goal. During his inaugural speech on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said, “We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” signaling significant policy change toward a more aggressive response from the federal government. We talk about California’s current challenges containing the virus and what state and national leadership can do to curb the spread and mounting deaths.


Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and chair, University of California, San Francisco Department of Medicine

Alexis Madrigal, staff writer, The Atlantic