tv KQED Newsroom PBS March 14, 2021 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
>> tonight on kqed newsroom. it has been one year since the pandemic began speaking across the golden street . uc health experts discuss where we have been and where we have going. >> -- joins us to discuss women in business and hurt efforts to improve water energy to the state and nation. welcome to kqed i am priya david clements. when years ago our lives were turned upside down. children place orders went into effect shutting down businesses
and schools. now is vaccine stream and the state we are seeing an end in sight. california's coronavirus map is shifting colors from lots of purple for counties and widespread risks to read for the milder substantial risk tears with orange for moderate risk. even yellow for minimum risk is showing up. the state has provided almost 11 million vaccinations institute is governor gavin newsom touted california's progress. >> today we have the most robust vaccination program in the country. think about this. california ranked sixth in the world for vaccination distribution. ahead of countries, not states. like russia, germany, israel and france. >> this comes on the heels of a heavy toll. more than half 1 million americans have died of the virus. nearly 55,000 of them are californians. >> our first guest this evening
are here to take stock of the year that has passed. the missteps and triumphs and help us assess what is ahead as we transition back to an open society. joining is now via skype is dr. robert walker chair of the department of medicine at uc services go. hello. >> hi. >> as well as dr. monica gandhi at uc san francisco. >> hi. >> dr. gandhi let's begin with the concern over the variance. are you worried about the virus changing so dramatically into a version that cannot be managed by the vaccines we currently have? >> i not worried about that. for one thing just from our knowledge you cannot mutate yourself too much. the virus can't do that. coronavirus has a strong -- mechanism so it looks like it is changing but not that fast. we are looking at antibodies as our main immune response for
viruses. but is actually cell mediated immunity. our t cells that help us fight variance and viruses. there is an incredible paper from san diego last week if you look at t cell responses to vaccineshey all work well against all of the variance. so the t cell response will get us out of this. we will have long-standing immune response to the variance. >> would you agree with that doctor? then can you tell us a little bit about the infection rate dropping here in california, when you think businesses will be able to fully reopen safely. >> since i learned most of my infectious disease for monica, i completely agree with that. the variance have become a little less scary in the last few weeks. we've seen even the variance from south africa and brazil appear to be somewhat
responsible -- vaccines. the main variant is becoming the uk variant. if you look at the rates from the uk they are plummeting slightly fast and coming down to the u.s. anything can happen with this virus. but i think we are in a pretty good place. it looks like the rate we are improving and the rate of vaccinations are such that we should be getting back to a level of normalcy by may or so. it looks like we have had a couple of months before we get to levels of immunity that should be consistent with people going back to something that pretty closely resembles normal life. >> part of that will include schools reopening. dr. gandhi, there was an op-ed you co-authored in the usa today if you days ago. in that you rode keeping schools closed based on what we now know is unwarranted, harming children, and has become the human rights issue. can you elaborate on that?
the concern is not been transmission of children but professional adults going back to the workforce. is that not a valid concern? >> there are four reasons why we wrote that article and why we think what i just said. it's a human rights issue. number one is children are much more less at risk for severe disease. 288 deaths in the u.s. from covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic as opposed to five 25,000 of adults. it does not occur in children thank god, like the rates in adults. luckily this is a population that is spared. across the entire planet children are spared from severe illness. there were increasing rates of
meaning weight, diabetes, depression, anxiety in children. so those increased rates of suicidal ideation. we have data on safety for teachers and staff. really great data published in ac/dc journal about how to keep teachers and staff safe. even though i think they should get vaccinated before they go back to school. because they deserve all of the reduced anxiety we have as healthcare workers after being vaccinated. and if they are getting vaccinated that is a priority of the biden administration and the state. the variance or not the reason to keep schools closed. they are not radioactive. we know how to block the variance. and importantly the vaccines will protect us. >> i want to go back and review
a little of this past year. because we are when you're from the date that the w.h.o. declared the pandemic a global emergency and problem. in that year we have come through some victories and some problems. we have learned a lot along the way. dr. walter you have been on the show when you appraised the success of operation warp speed. and bringing us a vaccine. would you outline for us what you see as the critical victory in the points in whh we did not do so well over this past year. >> i don't have time to go over all of the things we did not do well. it is almost everything else. when the pandemic it there should've been a unified response. a strong cdc coming out with the kinds of recommendations we are now seeing. we are seeing with that would've looked like with clear consistent recommendations about what we should and should
not be doing. we would've had presidential leadership that would've brought us all together to fight a common foe. we would've been supporting international organizations. we would've had consistent messaging on things like masks. we would've had a manhattan project effort to get testing and ppe out there. so we get a f on almost all of that. operation warp speed is different. operation warp speed was an effort by the trump administration to catalyze rapid development of vaccines. it basically gave the companies the support they needed to take the risk out of the process and then left them alone. so that is exactly what they needed to havedone. and they did it. the companies based on a whole lot of research that has been done for decades came out with miraculously effective vaccines in about 10 months. it's hard to imagine having done better than that. then they kind of botched the rollout. we were not prepared to take these vaccines and get them
into the arms of people. that has taken new work that had to happen over the last couple of months. but i find very little to be critical about the vaccine process. i spoke to a lot of vaccine and epidemiology and virology experts in march of 2020. and asked them when they thought there would be a vaccine. some said never and some said by the middle of 2021. none of them said by october or november of 2020. i think credit has to go where credit is due. on this when they got it right. >> dr. gandhi i see you nodding along. anything you would like to add? >> ever since november 9th, which is when the first press release came out with the pfizer vaccine, i have literally been jumping up and down every day. i cannot believe the efficacy of these vaccines against severe disease. i cannot believe they got developed so fast. i am so excited. and we are seeing this happen. we're watching this happen in front of our very eyes.
nursing homes is what really impresses me what is going on right now in this country. because we mass vaccinated nursing homes first, as we should you are seeing the death rate and hospitalizations plummet in that population even in the context of lockdown. it has nothing to do with restrictions and nursing homes. these vaccinations work so well. we will get through this pandemic. >> let's talk a little bit about the concerns of the most recent vaccine to rollout. the johnson & johnson vaccine. there have been people who worried it is not as effective as the pfizer or moderna vaccine. what would you say to that dr. gandhi? >> there are six reasons. i love the johnson & johnson vaccine. one is the efficacy against severe disease was equal to modernity and pfizer. any hospitalization or death that occurred in the 43,000
person trial it did not happen to people who got the vaccine. when you look at the phase one trial date of the antibodies keep going up over time. i see this is the gift that keeps on giving. i actually think we want more protection from the johnson & johnson vaccine after the short amount of time they looked at it in the phase three trial. one dose is easier to give. we will get it out faster and get heard immunity faster. all of that will happen faster. astrazeneca is the cousin in the uk and they are rolling out fast. the death rate from hospitalizations is at or equal to the vaccination. it is in real world playing out it is working incredibly well. it works against the variance and it has been studied against the variance and it works just as well against the variance. it was a very diverse trial.
i like trials that look like people that you are serving. so there were a lot of latin x participants, african- americans, and i like that aspect of the trial. >> thank you for that detail. i think that should set a lot of people's minds at ease about taking the johnson & johnson vaccine. president biden has said his goal was to make vaccinations available to all adults starting ma1st. the issue seems to be supply at this point rather than distribution. can you talk us througsome of the anchorages sees of the supply? >> we are mostly having production problems. it is really hard to do. it's not like repurposing a general motors plant to produce ventilators or the clothing plant to produce masks or ppe. it is very sophisticated. it is painstaking. there has to be a lot of quality control.
you cannot afford any possibility of an error. so the fact we are now vaccinating today nearly 3 million people got vaccinated today. that is remarkable. it's also hard to imagine it can go any faster. the fact that the j&j enters the mix mes we have three different vaccines. merck is helping manufacture the other vaccines. they are putting their shoulder to it and i think this is about as fast as we can imagine. 3 million vaccine doses administered today is tremendous. january was a disaster. the rollout was botched. we did not understand the complexity. there was very little planning for the rollout. that over the last month or so i think it is pretty impressive. and will get even more impressive as it rolls out into your local pharmaceutical offices for the doctors offices. right now it is mostly big health departments, football
stadiums, and hospitals. i think you'll see in a couple of months it will be just like a way to get a flu vaccine. much easier. >> talk to us about the behaviors we can engage in once we are vaccinated. there does seem to be a concern that once revaccinated you still can pass on the virus. is that accurate? and what sort of behavior should we be engaging in? >> this idea that vaccines don't block transmission is very 2020 is how i put it. because that was the data they came out in the clinical trials because they were not designed to work if they brought transmission. we now have lots and lots of real-world data that shows the vaccines massively reduce astigmatic infection and transmission. one paper from today said the vaccinations have high levels of -- which is what gets in your nose and stop you from getting it in your nose and passing it on. multiple studies have swabbed
people after the vaccination because you can't have surgery for example in a hospital before swallowing. and they had an 80% reduction in transmission. so i'm quite secure vaccines traduced the infection massively. they said vaccinated people could be around vaccinated people without trouble. no issues. and then vaccinated people can be around unvaccinated people as long as that on vaccinated person is not susceptible to severe disease. this paves the way for the grandparents to visit the grandchildren because they are not as susceptible as we talked about before. >> last question to you as we go here. it seems one of the positive sides of this pandemic has been mask wearing. it has brought down the rates of infection illness in other diseases such as the flu. do you think mask wearing will become something of a cultural norm >> it certainly has in asia.
if you go to hong kong or japan you will see 20% of the people wearing masks while crossing the street or on the subway. i think it will be interesting. i imagine it will for a year or two. for me personally the idea of going into a crowded bar standing shoulder to shoulder with people without masks may feel weird for a while. then it won't surprise me if we continue to wear a mask for a while. 2 to 3 years from now, i don't know. i kind of doubt it. but we have to see. there is no question everyone is worried about this double epidemic of flu and covid-19. and the flu rate went down to essentially zero. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> a europe pandemic has significantly impacted businesses and women in business. but ceo kera goldin said her company, had water has been able to thrive despite covid-19 and she has advice to offer other entrmaneuvers. golden is teaming up with
california congress member jackie speier to improve the quality of her drink and water. and keep carcinogenic chemicals out of our water supply. we want to note -- asa sponsor of a kqed radio show the california report. we felt it was important to disclose for full transparency. joining me now is kera goldin ceo of hint water. hi cara. >> hi. >> in 2011 fortune magazine named you one of the most powerful women entrepreneurs. tell us about pentwater. i know it's a fruit flavored water but how did you build $150 billion company of squeezing fruit into water? >> i was the tech executive. then i realized after leaving my last roll as head of each commerce partnerships for america online that i really needed to take a break and focus on my health.
i had three kids under the age of four. i had gained a chunk of weight over the course of a few years. i also developed terrible adult acne. energy levels were decreasing. and that is when i started looking at what i was eating. as a solution to clear up some of these issues. i had almost given up when i looked at my diet soda. and that is when i really realized there were a lot of chemicals in this drink that i was putting in my body. that i wasn't sure i should. this was over 15 years ago. i think for me a diet meant health. i wasn't drinking sugar soda. and when i swapped out my diet soda just for plain drinking water i knew i was getting healthier. i ended up losing the weight that i wanted to.
nice to include up in my energy levels came back. but what i didn't realize was that water was so boring. and i knew i was supposed to be drinking water. but i just wasn't. so i started slicing up fruit and throwing it in my water. and that was really began. >> and how that product is not only a whole foods but at retailers across the nation and also you have a strong direct consumer business through amazon. i want to turn a little bit to the place of women in business. it is women's history month and when it comes to business we have a lot to celebrate. the quality is grown. so the wage gap between men and women has grown, excuse me, it s shrunk. but there is still a gap. does that concern you? >> of course it concerns me. i think being a woman ceo, there are not very many of us. and overall i think clearly the
wages are lower. and in a time when we see so many women who are not opting out, i lieve being forced out. because often times they are making less money. to care for kids who are being homeschooled through the pandemic. there are all kinds of issues with it. but i think more than anything looking forward and still focusing on how we can improve wages for women. but also realize maybe this is a time for so many to actually realize what they really want to be doing. whether that is starting a company, being an entrepreneur, everyone has ideas. maybe there is something out there you should actually be doing in your journey. >> what about you? did you face gender and pay discrimination over the years in your career? >> it is always hard to say.
because i clearly was moving up throughout my career. and i have never been a man. so i am not really really sure. >> did you ever learn you are paid less than a man doing a similar job? >> i never knew that i was. but again, my focus has always been to keep moving forward. and to keep figuring out what i can do. and not to forget about those things. but to figure out how do i move forward? it is definitely important to fight the fight but it is also important to figure out what you can actually take control over right now. >> let's turn to your book, undaunted. where you share those hard life lessons. what would be the core take away from the book? >> i think just go try. so many people along the same lines of what we were just
talking about. so many people are block by this fear of not being able to do something. or it is not fair. or anything else. they don't have the right experience. they might fail. i think a number of people, particularly women fear failure. i think that is the number one thing i want people to get out of the book. i definitely had fears. i definitely had failures. and most entrepreneurs do. we don't necessarily hear from them all but the key thing is to keep trying and learning from those challenges and failures along the way. in the case of the pandemic, that is hopefully behind us. we are getting out of the woods. i think more than anything just focusing on what we can do and constantly focusing on making
it better. making life better. >> what is your message to those who are struggling to make it through the end of this pandemic? >> i think the number one thing is figuring out how do you get yourself to really understand what is going to make you happy. and focus on things that are really in your heart. not what other people think you should do. i think the number one thing i found in starting my company as i hear from consumers every day we are helping them. whether it is helping them drink water, dumping them control their type ii diabetes. helping them get through breast cancer chemo by masking the tallic taste you get when you're going to chemo. if you can run a company or work for a company that is helping people, or even a nonprofit that is helping people, that is a powerful thing.
it starts to really, it gets you up in the morning. and it really starts to make you feel like you are contributing and you are doing something that really is making a difference. when i started the company 15 years ago, they did not call companies like mine purpose driven or mission driven companies. but it is a really powerful thing to be able to help people. >> so your work with your company has increased her knowledge of african water in america. and you know the concerns of our water supply. can you outline some of those concerns for us? >> just from producing our product over the last 15 years, i have noticed the water quality varies greatly in lots of different states. so for me it just really raise the question as a consumer, how many consumers know what really
is in the water supply and what are the regulations around it? so i reached out to congresswoman jackie speier to ask her who i would talk to. and that is when the two of us got together and had conversations on this topic. we are hoping with the new presidency to continue. >> what changes would you like to see? >> i would like to see, there is one substance in particular that is considered a known carcinogen by the nih and the cdc. it is not a good substance. it is and a lot of the water supplies. this unfortunately is not removed from any of the water
supplies and not regulated. i would like it considered a dangerous substance at the epa level so there are regulations around what can and cannot be in the water at any level. >> ceo pentwater, cara golden. take you for your time. >> thank you. >> we had now to e east bay's tilden park. the -- indians lived on this land until ranson took over. in 1936 the land then known as upper wildcat canyon became a public park. it is this meets look at something beautiful.
know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, march 14: with vaccinations on the rise and relief checks on the way, our "roads to recovery" series returns to fairfield county, connecticut, to see how the restaurant industry there is faring. and a look at what post-pandemic workspaces might look when workers start returning to the office. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the jpb foundation. baa