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Stopping The COVID-19 Hate

 April 10, 2020 at 2:45 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:03 The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have warned that hate crimes against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States due to the spread of the Corona virus. And people here in San Diego have been taking to social media to share their experiences. I'm in our church. We had a, you know, young girl went out on a jog, right? Someone saw her and was like, Oh, China, right? Like, you know, we need to tell these stories. On Thursday, more than 50 Asian Pacific Islander groups in San Diego County released a joint statement, the letter denounced xenophobia, racism and acts of violence toward their communities amid the pandemic and the organizations called upon the community to avoid the use of harmful language relating to Koba 19 labels like China, Corona virus, Chinese Corona virus, and Wu Han virus. And in other local headlines, script's health. Thursday announced the launch of the fastest available point of care test for detecting the Corona virus. It's available at its five hospital campuses across San Diego County. The hospital says the test can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. The San Diego regional economic development corporation announced Thursday that the majority of local layoffs are yet to come in a new survey released Thursday that looked at the economic impact of coven 19 the data shows that while a few local companies are still hiring, the worst is on its way of nearly 700 respondents. 379 employers say they plan to eliminate over 14,000 jobs or about 70% of their total workforce. Speaker 1: 01:57 More essential workers in San Diego County are now required to wear cloth. Face coverings. Officials announced on Thursday that bank and public transportation employees must adhere to the order beginning on Monday. And governor Gavin Newsome unveiled a plan on Thursday to make thousands of hotel rooms available at a deep discount to employees in California hospitals, first responders and those working at nursing care facilities. The governor also said the number of coronavirus ICU patients in the state has declined for the first time in weeks. The news left. Newsome cautiously optimistic. One data point is not a trend. One data point is not a headline, so I caution anybody to read too much in to that one point, but nonetheless it is encouraging and the latest local coven, 19 numbers for additional people have died in San Diego. Bringing the total fatalities here to 40 and an additional 98 people tested positive for the Corona virus raising the countywide total to 1,628 cases. I'm Kenzie Morlan and you're listening to San Diego news matters. It's Friday, April 10th stay with me for more of the local news you need a statewide temporary eviction band seeks to give a bit of financial security to renters effected by coven 19 but landlord say they're not getting much help when it comes to their own financial responsibilities. I knew source reporter Cody Delaney has more when tenants can't pay their rent, it puts landlords in a bind. They have mortgages to pay and properties to maintain. Escondido residents. Barry and Sharon herps invested their retirement savings into 20 rental units and spring Valley, LA Mesa and national city. Now they fear they may lose it all. Speaker 2: 04:02 This is a horrible situation for everybody. Nobody wants to see anybody out on the street. Nobody is going to win. In this situation. My biggest concern is that the government seems to be putting all of the onus on the apartment owners to carry the burden. Speaker 1: 04:19 Local rental property owners want elected officials to give them some kind of economic relief and they're going to need it says university of San Diego real estate professor, norm Miller. Speaker 3: 04:30 Some of the landlords will be in financial difficulty and some of them might even run into default problems and hope somehow they can work it out and hold on to the properties. Speaker 1: 04:41 Miller says this recession will be much deeper than the one in 2008 but the recovery may be quicker. I knew source is an independently funded nonprofit partner of KPBS Speaker 4: 04:54 [inaudible], Speaker 1: 04:56 so the coronavirus may have closed schools, but teachers are still teaching and learning new ways to teach. KPBS education reporter Joe Hong spoke with teachers across the County about how they're making the most out of this impromptu distance learning effort. Speaker 5: 05:12 The pandemic is wreaking havoc on the educational system in ways that will be with us for months and years to come. Yet as teachers across San Diego County are adjusting to online learning, some are seeing silver linings in this dark time. Gino scholar is an English and history teacher in the San Dieguito union high school district. Speaker 6: 05:30 We're skipping a lot of spring distractions like standardized testing and graduation practice. And you know, that trip to not very far. I'm in it. Teachers get very annoyed about the interruptions and the routine. And this year we're not gonna have any of those, Speaker 5: 05:47 uh, interruptions. Teachers also see this as an opportunity to learn new technology that they can take back to their classrooms on schools, reopen Mar even Torino is a science teacher at the Academy. She's also studying for a doctorate in educational technology and has been helping teachers learn new platforms. Speaker 1: 06:04 Yeah. To all the teachers out there. Mmm. No, just keep doing. We're doing it cause we love, we love our kids. Um, so just keep doing what you love and those technology skills, you know, they'll come and there's tons of resources out there. Speaker 5: 06:18 But the most bittersweet lesson in all this venture Reno said, has been realizing the importance of having close relationships with students. Speaker 1: 06:32 Well, Mexico has lagged behind the United States in coronavirus cases. The pandemic has begun to take hold South of the border. KPBS reporter max Reblan Nadler tells us more. Speaker 5: 06:43 The Baha government said there have been 155 confirmed cases of coven 19 and two Quana as of Thursday. But medical professionals at hospitals in two quantit tell KPBS that number isn't giving a clear picture of the pandemic because there aren't enough tests. Instead, dozens of patients at [inaudible] general hospital are being given the same grim diagnosis. Atypical pneumonia doctors there say they haven't been given enough safety equipment to deal with the pandemic so much like in the U S they've been buying their own equipment at inflated prices. Speaker 1: 07:24 There are now 10 detainees who are positive for coven 19 at the OTI Mesa detention center. That is the center that houses people in immigration and us Marshall's custody. Six employees there have now also tested positive immigrant advocates. Health experts and elected representatives are calling on the federal government to release as many detainees as possible from OTI Mesa. They say it's hard for detainees to follow simple health guidelines like social distancing and hand-washing. Dr Chris Bayer is an epidemiologist at John Hopkins. All of those things are enormously difficult to do for people in detention. In many of the detention facilities in which we are holding people. Uh, it is functionally impossible to achieve those basic minimum standards. Over the weekend, several detainees launched a hunger strike to protest their conditions during the pandemic. A local lab is now testing its coronavirus vaccine in humans in Novio pharmaceuticals injected its first patient this week at sites in Pennsylvania and Missouri. KPBS health reporter Taryn mento spoke with the Novios lead researcher Kate Broderick about this next stage and tells us about one volunteer who stepped forward to get the first dose. He was very, very excited I think to be part of this trial and also to be the first ever person to, to um, to Speaker 7: 08:56 be able to um, test our vaccine. Um, and we just are so thankful for all of the volunteers who, um, who have really stepped up and want to be part of this trial. Speaker 8: 09:07 This isn't the first time you've reached human trials with your DNA vaccines, but what is the significance of this to you with this particular vaccine? Speaker 7: 09:17 Yes, absolutely. So we've tested R D at different DNI medicines and over 2000 people so far. So we've really done a, a a huge amount of clinical testing. But the significance of us getting this far subject treated for our covert 19 vaccine is just absolutely remarkable. And I can see without a shadow of a doubt that the whole team or Novio has been working 24, seven DNA to, to get to this moment in time saw for us as a team, that's a huge achievement. But I also like to think of it as a massive achievement for um, you know, the whole global community in general because this is another step forward towards a solution for the current global covert 19 outbreak. Speaker 8: 10:07 Now this individual and the others that come after him will be given a second dose after four weeks. But in between those four weeks, what are you looking for? Speaker 7: 10:18 So a phase one clinical trial is really primarily to assess the safety of the vaccines. So you look for any adverse side effects. That's not something we've ever seen em in our 2000 patients that have gone before and there's trial. So we feel pretty confident about that. But we also need to know how the vaccine reacts within the human body. So we'll be taking samples from each of our volunteers, so blood samples and we'll be testing their blood for the presence of the different antibodies and T-cells that we believe will be crucial to the body's ability to defend itself against this virus. Speaker 8: 10:58 How often will you be taking blood samples and is that person coming in every time to do that? Speaker 7: 11:03 Yeah, that's correct. Sorts of variety of different stages throughout the process. We'll be taking samples from each of the subjects and really at crucial times during there, the whole spread of the trial. Um, some early up front, some of the med time and also some longer term blood draws as well. And it gives us, gives us the ability to see the, how the body responds immediately, how it responds after this booster dose and then how it responds maybe after a year or so of having had the vaccine. Speaker 8: 11:34 You just mentioned collecting data a year after a person gets the actual vaccine. But I know that you've talked about having results from this human trial by the summer we'll Speaker 7: 11:45 be looking to get what we call interim data. So that'll be data sort of out there. The mid stage, I guess you could see of the trial and potentially using that data. If it looks positive to go back to the FDA MC, would you be comfortable with us pushing forward into a phase two? So that's how much larger clinical trial and using that data to support that decision. Speaker 8: 12:08 You've been following all of the research, uh, across the world pretty closely and I've heard, um, that there have been some resurgences of, uh, outbreaks in various countries that felt like they had, uh, you know, pushed it aside and beaten it almost. Can you tell me a little bit about what that research through your eye means? Speaker 7: 12:31 Certainly there's evidence of people appear to be reinfected em and certain areas of the world. Certainly Hong Kong hard relapse, some of it I'm quarantining and no is appearing to see another outbreak of the virus. And that's why it is so sore, so important that we don't rush back to normal activities that truly would be the worst thing that we could do at the moment. I can only imagine from my own experience how frustrating this is for everybody to be stuck at home. But if we try to get back to normal activities, we're only prolonging the time that we're going to have to stay on lockdown sort of. So you know really these reports that we're seeing of people potentially being re-infected these potential sort of outbreaks happening again in the areas where they thought the outbreak had gone. This is something that we have to take very, very, very seriously and not rush into any hasty decisions to get back to normal activities yet we're really not ready for that. Speaker 8: 13:35 You said potential re infections. What do we really know about if you can get this again, Speaker 7: 13:41 the answer, there's not a lot at the moment. M it's very unclear whether you can actually be reinfected or where there potentially the people who M a peer to B M have recovered and then got em and then showed symptoms again, whether the potentially just weren't, hadn't actually fully recovered at that stage and then just, you know, the, the infection, you know, too cold. Again, there are so many possibilities at the moment. It's very unclear. It's very unclear at the moment. What, what kind of a response your body needs to generate to be fully protected. Those studies are ongoing at the moment and we'll certainly know more about that over the coming months. But there's a lot of unknowns at the moment. And that's why we have to, we have to take the situation as seriously as we can because we don't want to get into a situation where we all returned to work or only for the outbreak to, to um, rear its head. Again. Speaker 8: 14:43 Have companies gone to the FDA for that before? I imagine with other global outbreaks, infectious diseases that we've seen, it's happened. But can you explain to me how that's happened before and if you guys have ever received that kind of approval before? Speaker 7: 14:58 Yeah, absolutely. So that's quite a standard process and I think certainly under the circumstances of an outbreak, like obviously what we're experiencing today, but also other outbreaks that M, you know, people may have heard of. So Ebola, Zika and Mars, this is very standard process to, um, to generate early data and use that as supporting data to move forward. And so as long as the vaccine is CIF and looks like it's achieving the results that we hope it to achieve, then ensuring that we're, we're at the next stage of testing as soon as we're ready to be there. Speaker 8: 15:34 And you mentioned that there was one individual yesterday, one volunteer, but we'll have up to 40 and I believe Kansas city, you're still kind of screening all of the participants there. But who are these people? How do you find them? Are they, you know, do they have different day jobs? Do they, are they different ages? Do they have families? Who are they? Speaker 7: 15:54 Yeah, R a true real spectrum of society. Tannin. And that's really important actually because it's significant to ours that we get our vast range of people from different ethnic backgrounds, different ages and you know, different em, what walks of life. Because that really will allow us to get a snapshot into what would happen if we were to vaccinate our whole population, which of course is a very diverse, um, you know, group of people. So, yeah. And as I said early on, I, I'm just so thankful to the people who volunteer to be part of this trial in particular, but really all of our trials, you know, they are doing this ouch. Rustically really aim to kind of see that the want to be part of, um, the effort to push these vaccines forward. And uh, and Avil we're so grateful for them and our, and across the board really for all the whole scientific community without these volunteers that have all of these subjects nor drugs or vaccines could move forward. So we're very grateful for the, um, the impact that these people have. Speaker 8: 17:04 We talk a lot about the fact that we don't know when we'll get back to normal life and that's very concerning and alarming and stressful to a lot of people. I guess what comforts you? Speaker 7: 17:15 So as a scientist there is, I have no doubt at all that we will have an effective vaccine and effective therapy for covert 19. And I don't know who's it will be and I can't give you a D as to when that'll be ready. But I know that the science, the technology that aim has developed globally is such an a position that we will have tools to fight this virus. The problem is we just don't have those right now. And so I have every hope that this is completely, and this virus is completely fightable but we just need time. So that's my, that's what gives me hope as a scientist and as a mother or just as a member of society, I think people have really started to think about, you know, looking after other people, you know, looking at it on their neighbors and you know, just giving a weave to kind of a stranger out for a walk that seems to almost have Caden or reignited the sense of society. And you know, that gives me hope that um, you know, if everybody gets together and pulls together on this one and we're going to be okay, we're going to, we are going to get through this. Speaker 4: 18:41 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 18:49 restaurants across San Diego are stepping up to feed healthcare workers and those who have lost their jobs. Local pizza chain Woodstock's is raising money to do both. They're partnering with the salvation army and matching all donations for the cause. On Thursday, they cooked up pizzas and salads for ER staff at UC San Diego LA Jolla hospital. Kelly Mead is a nurse manager there and says the donated food goes a long way. It's awesome. It's amazing. It makes, um, it helps us to feel loved and supported, um, which in turn allows us to continue to provide the necessary support that patients need. If you're interested in donating, just search for Woodstock's pizza on go fund me already. Some $14,000 has been raised, which translates to more than 5,000 meals. And while you're there at GoFund me just try searching San Diego too. It pulls up a lot of local campaigns, many of which are people in need because of the pandemic. All right. That's all for today. Thanks for listening. Have a safe weekend. Speaker 4: 20:12 [inaudible].

On Thursday, more than 50 Asian Pacific Islander organizations in San Diego County released a joint statement denouncing xenophobia, racism and acts of violence toward their communities amid the pandemic. Also in the San Diego News Matter’s podcast: More essential workers in San Diego County are now required to wear cloth face coverings, testing a possible coronavirus vaccine and more local news you need.