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The New Administration

 January 21, 2021 at 5:01 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Thursday, January 21st. What Biden’s Inauguration means in San Diego That’s next, but first... let’s do the headlines…. San Diego county public health officials reported more than 1700 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday and 65 additional deaths. State officials and researchers are trying to learn more about a new, different variant of the coronavirus. Days after the UK-found variant was identified in San Diego, a different variant was traced to Outbreaks in Santa Clara county. State health and human services secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says scientists are trying to learn everything they can about the variants.. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a motion on wednesday that requires them to show the scientific data they use to justify enforcement of COVID-19 public health orders. Supervisor Anderson says the data is now published on the county website. The approved motion also says enforcement of public health orders must be applied consistently and fairly, and the criteria used must be given to the public. Researchers say the population of gray whales off the West Coast of the United States has fallen by nearly one-quarter since 2016, resembling a similar die-off two decades ago. That’s according to a NOAA Fisheries report. The agency declared an “unusual mortality event” in 2019 as dozens of gray whales washed up on Pacific Ocean beaches. Scientists aren't sure what has been causing the die-off. From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM SAN DIEGO WERE IN D-C yesterday CELEBRATING THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS. KPBS REPORTER MATT HOFFMAN caught up with SAN DIEGO POLITICIANS from ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM and got their reactions. :14 Sara Jacobs Rep. Sara Jacobs, (D-CA) 53rd District there is light at the end of the tunnel, we have a new administration, a new day Democratic Congresswoman Sara Jacobs isn’t the only local representative celebrating a new beginning from what some are calling President Trump’s divisive rhetoric. 00:03:56:16 Rep. Scott Peters, (D-CA) 52nd District Found enemies where ever he could. And I think what Joe biden has said today is look... we can disagree it doesn't mean we’re disloyal that’s not what trump was about but that’s what biden is about and it gives us a chance to restore american greatness Fellow Democratic Congressman representing northern San Diego County Mike Levin was also there for Biden’s first address as president.. 00:13:50:06 Rep. Mike Levin, (D-CA) 49th District We desperately need competent leadership and I think that’s what Joe biden will bring Republican congressman Darrell Issa voted to reject some state’s election results earlier this month. He was at the inaugural ceremony, and later .. Later issued ing a statement celebrating the peaceful transition of power... Saying he welcomes bidens words of unity and the country stands to benefit if he keeps promises made during the campaign.. But not all republicans saw it the same. feel so sure. 00:01:48:16 Bill Wells, El Cajon Mayor people are frightened. People on the conservative side feel like they are being dehumanized El cajon mayor bill wells says social media companies are quote “censoring” some conservatives, suggesting they’re terrorists and white supremicists.. and he wishes Biden would stand up for “political speech” 00:04:08:12 Bill Wells, El Cajon Mayor Either make people feel like they’re some HOPE or make people feel like they’re being attacked if people feel they’re being attacked some will be radicalized a lot of others will spend more time organizing -- I kind of suspect the most unifying source for the republican party will be the democratic party Newly elected republican member of the board of supervisors Joel Anderson had a different take-- 12;10;16;07 Joel Anderson, San Diego County Supervisor The president wasn’t my first choice but he’s still my president -- and our country has a lot of lows and we need to gather together to lift everyone in our community PB PROTEST NAT San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria hopes Biden's message of unity will resonate with San Diegans.. He plans to leverage his personal friendship with the Vice president to make local issues a priority in D-C. 00:00:56:01 Todd Gloria, San Diego Mayor Seeing her there and taking the oath and making this history there is more of a connection there so you know what it means for her and my nieces just a really positive day on what otherwise has been a dark time The board of supervisors first ever Latina elected member and democrat Nora Vargas says she couldn’t barely sleep last night. 00:02:35:12 Nora Vargas, San Diego County Supervisor I’m mostly excited for the young little girls and boys in this community to see an African American south asian as our vice president is very powerful Shortly after taking office on Wednesday, President Joe Biden quickly issued a slew of Executive Orders including some that address immigration… Here along the border, KPBS reporter Max Rivlin-Nadler tells us while change is on its way, there are still barriers facing asylum-seekers who have now waited years to enter the United States. President Biden signed several executive orders regarding immigration on Day One, including a call for Congress to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship for Dreamers... and changes to arrest priorities for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Other “day one” promises are still unfulfilled, including a 100-day moratorium on deportations… UCLA law Professor Hiroshi Motomura thinks the Biden administration has shown a real interest in solving the humanitarian crisis along the border. I think the first step and perhaps the deepest commitment of the Biden administration is to restore some sense of the rule of law to what’s going on at the border. /cut/ 11:25 the big problem is the numbers and making sure people can get hearings without waiting too long. Comprehensive immigration reform, which would include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people currently in the United States or who were removed from the United States during the Trump administration…..will take months to work through congress… But immediate action for those in immigration detention and asylum-seekers along the border could take just a few short weeks…. As the Biden administration looks to quickly amend a Trump administration rule that stopped asylum processing since the beginning of the pandemic…. Erika Pinheiro is a lawyer who works with asylum-seekers stuck in Tijuana. There’s an estimated 15,000 asylum-seekers in Baja California, who either were denied the chance to apply for asylum, or were sent back there under the Remain in Mexico Program. I think we’ve seen the administration backtrack from some of the day one promises to a sort of a “we need to do some work before we fulfill said promise.” Much of that work has been done in coordination with a group of local officials and immigrant advocacy groups known as the Californians Welcoming Taskforce….…. Working with the president’s transition team, they began to outline ways the Biden administration can begin to quickly process thousands of asylum-seekers along the southern border, and allow them to safely enter the United States…. Attorney Margaret Cargioli was part of that group…. We understand the Biden administration is facing serious challenges due to the extreme measures the Trump administration took to undermine asylum law and dismantle immigration law. It’s a moment of reckoning for immigration law. On Tuesday, asylum-seekers in Tijuana held a press conference, asking the Biden Administration to take quick action…. But first, the administration needs to work with Customs and Border Protection, which manages the country’s ports of entry…. Leadership of the agency has been hostile to many of the Biden administration’s priorities. Cargioli thinks they can find more help elsewhere in the government…. The Biden administration should look into other facets of the government that can take away any legal, humanitarian, type cases away from basically a police enforcement agency. The Biden administration has already floated a stepped up role for the asylum officers and the state department. The first stop for many of these asylum-seekers in San Diego will be a shelter run by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, in conjunction with the county. Kate Clark is their senior director of immigration services. She says the shelter is up to the task of housing asylum-seekers during a public health emergency. We’ve seen historically asylum-seekers coming to our care in very stressful situations. In need of medical attention with communicable diseases…. We’ve been able to coordinate with local medical professionals to attend to the needs of our guests when they arrive to us… After a few days at the shelter, they’ll then continue their immigration case from inside the U.S. As the Biden administration reopens safe pathways into the country for those seeking safety and opportunity…. San Diego looks to become, once again, a front door into the United States. Max Rivlin-Nadler, KPBS NEWS. That was KPBS reporter Max Rivlin Nadler. Next week, KPBS will bring you a look at border wall construction under the Biden Administration, including the future of planned projects in San Diego County. FORMER SAN DIEGO CONGRESSMAN RANDY “DUKE” CUNNINGHAM WAS AMONG 73 PEOPLE PARDONED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP on tuesday. KPBS REPORTER JOHN CARROLL GOT REACTION FROM THE FORMER US ATTORNEY WHO OVERSAW CUNNINGHAM’S BRIBERY CASE. March 4th, 2006. Disgraced Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham appears outside U-S District Court in San Diego, tearfully expressing regret for his crimes. “I can’t undo what I’ve done, but I can atone.” Cunningham pleaded guilty to taking more than two million dollars in bribes from defense contractors… in return for steering contracts their way. He was sentenced to eight years and four months, and served 80 percent of that sentence. Carol Lam was the United States Attorney who oversaw the Cunningham case: “Somebody who held the position he held should certainly, certainly deserves to have this conviction on his record for all time, but practically speaking, I don’t think it gets him that much.” Cunningham, who now lives in Arkansas, still owes 1.8 million dollars in restitution. He told a federal judge that he survives on 17-hundred dollars a month. JC, KPBS News. ########## Coming up.... A California auditor found the state’s smaller counties got short changed on covid-19 relief funding. Also, a deeper look at the allergic reactions from vaccine distribution at petco park. Those stories next, just after the break. CALIFORNIA IS SHORTCHANGING SMALL CALIFORNIA COUNTIES WHEN IT COMES TO FEDERAL COVID19 RELIEF FUNDS. THAT’S THE CONCLUSION OF THE STATE AUDITOR. CAPRADIO’S ED FLETCHER HAS MORE. California counties with more than 500,000 residents received nearly twice the state and federal relief funding per person, compared to the 42 counties with fewer than a half-million residents. State department of finance officials, defended the allocation by arguing that the more populous counties have more Covid patients. But The auditor’s office pointed to several small counties -- Imperial, Kings, and Lassen -- whose infection rates top the state. FERNANDEZ: “We believe they should have allocated it on a per person basis. That’s Margarita Fernandez, a spokeswoman for the auditor’s office. She wants to ensure low population counties have the tools they need. FERNANDEZ: “That’s the risk. The risk is that some of their needs are not met.” While much of the funds were allocated by the federal government directly to large counties, Fernandez says the state should allocate its discretionary funds more equitably in the future. Ed Fletcher, CapRadio News The new Biden administration has Covid-19 vaccination at the top of its priority list. But, here in California the effort hit a snag this week, when the state suspended the use of one batch of Moderna vaccine. Several people who received vaccinations from that batch experienced what’s being called “higher than usual” allergic reactions. To talk about this, KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Cavanaugh spoke to James Paulson who is a Ph.D. Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute. That was…James Paulson, Ph.D. Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute...speaking with KPBS Midday Edition Host Maureen Kavanaugh. That’s it for the podcast today. Be sure to catch KPBS Midday Edition At Noon on KPBS radio, or watch KPBS Evening Edition at 5 O’clock on KPBS Television. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Annica Colbert. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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San Diego’s politicians give their reactions to the Biden/Harris Inauguration. Also, we’ll take a close look at some of the executive orders signed yesterday by President Biden and the barriers immigrants still face along the southern border. Plus, a deeper conversation about the allergic reactions that happened at Petco Park’s vaccination super station last week.