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LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Your Vaccine Questions Answered

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ROLAND LIZARONDO

A man gets the COVID-19 vaccine at San Diego County's "Vaccination Superstation" in Chula Vista, Calif. Jan. 21, 2021.

Your questions about the covid-19 vaccine answered by local health experts. Meanwhile, a second super vaccination site for the region opened in Chula Vista on Thursday. Plus, political extremism among some veterans is a known problem, but there’s very few resources to bring those veterans back from the brink.

Good Morning, I’m Annica Colbert….it’s Friday, January 22nd.

Answering Your Questions About the covid-19 vaccine.

That’s next, but first... let’s do the headlines….

San Diego County Officials reported more than 1100 new covid-19 infections on Thursday, and 48 additional deaths. That’s following Wednesday's single day record of 65 deaths.

The State has lifted stay-at-home orders for the Greater Sacramento region….but it’s a mystery how or why the state decided to do so. Public health restrictions are based on ICU capacity projections. And State health department spokeswoman Ali Bay says that ICU projections for the Greater Sacramento region are not being shared publicly because officials believe they could cause more confusion.

San Diego will make more than $42 million in federal emergency rental assistance available to city residents. Mayor Todd Gloria made the announcement on Thursday. He says he is also proposing an extension of eviction protections for renters and businesses.

It’s been a warm January so far, but a cold storm is expected to roll in this weekend. Forecasters say rain is likely on friday and will peak on saturday. The national weather service has issued a winter-weather advisory for the mountains starting at 10 o’clock tonight.

From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now.

Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution across the U.S. is starting to go into full swing. here in San Diego County however, the rollout has left many with a lot of unanswered questions.

KPBS Health reporter Tarryn Mento spoke with Family Health Center Assistant Medical Director Dr. Christian Ramers to answer your questions on the vaccine rollout in San Diego County.

That was Dr Christian Ramers, Assistant Medical Director at the Family Health Center, speaking with KPBS Health Reporter Tarryn Mento.

A second super vaccination site for the region opened in Chula Vista on thursday. The supersite aims to do 5,000 vaccinations a day. KPBS’ Jacob Aere reports.

The Chula Vista super vaccination site builds off of the county’s first super station outside of Petco Park. Both locations are administering vaccines seven days a week to people eligible under Phase 1A, including those 75 and older.
County Supervisor Nora Vargas says the new superstation keeps to the county’s promise to deliver equitable vaccine distribution to San Diego’s hardest hit neighborhoods.
“Any of the future investments, including vaccine distribution, is going to be made in communities where the highest need is in the region, and were going to do this based on science and data.”
Both superstations require appointments which can be scheduled through the county website… vaccinationsuperstationsd.com. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.

COVID-19 PATIENTS ARE CURRENTLY BEING TREATED INSIDE THE FORMER SACRAMENTO KINGS ARENA IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. CAP RADIO'S PAULINE BARTOLONE HAS MORE.

Doctors and nurses are treating fourteen patients at the arena north of Sacramento’s downtown. During the course of the pandemic, it served as a spillover facility for communities as far north as Butte, Shasta and Lake Counties. Brian Ferguson with California’s Office of Emergency Services says the facility is meant to ease the burden on hospitals, who are treating the sickest COVID patients.
“These are people who can self feed, they may require oxygen but they’re not intubated, so there is a very high level of care, but it’s people who don’t require very intensive hospitalizations.”
Patient beds are divided by plastic sheets in a smaller gymnasium within the arena. Ferguson says they’ll use the space for as long as necessary.

Coming up.... The VA and veteran groups are aware of extremism in their ranks, but find that there’s very few resources available to help pull people back from the brink. That story is next, just after the break.

Some of the people who participated in the siege at the US Capitol were veterans. While the VA and veterans groups are aware of extremism in their ranks..., there are very few resources to address the problem among veterans, or the public in general..

KPBS Military reporter Steve Walsh has been following the story and brings us this report.

35 year old Ashli Babbitt was an Air Force veteran from San Diego. In security most of her career, Babbitt was killed by police as she tried to push deeper into the Capitol building January 6. Her social media is a mix of QAnon conspiracies and retweeting posts claiming the election was being stolen. In one video on Twitter, the avidly pro-Trimp Babbitt segued from immigration to California politicians as she drove.
“I am so sick of these politicians in this Goddamn state. They’re all worried about what Trump is doing. How about we worry about what the hell you're doing.”
The VA and all of the major veterans groups have condemned the insurrection at the US Capitol. The groups themselves have done very little to turn around the veterans who hold extreme views that could lead to violence. John Raughter spokesman for the American Legion.
“The radicalization of certain fringe elements. We don’t see it as a problem among veterans as for America in general.”
The American Legion has a program to confront suicide among veterans. They even have legion posts inside prisons to help rehabilitate veterans. They don’t have similar programs to confront extremism directly, even though days before the insurrection, the Union Tribune uncovered a local post commander who boasted being a member of the far right group The Proud Boys. Veterans groups are not alone.
Pete Simi researches violent extremism at Chapman University.
“We’re behind the eight ball. We haven’t taken this seriously. We just have not dealt with this problem in a meaningful way. We don’t have a national strategy and state and local resources aren’t there.”
The number of hate groups spiked during the Obama years. Simi says.
Much of the research into deradicalizing people who have taken up violent extremism centers around islamic extremists, Simi says.
“And when you’re talking about specific intervention programs, designed specifically for veterans, it’s, ah, it’s not there.”
Vets have long been a target of extremist groups, says Tony McAleer, founder of Cure For Hate.
“I can see how people can get manipulated by their patriotism. And get duped into doing things that when they take a step back they think, I can’t believe I did that.”
A former neo-nazi and a Canadian military veteran, McAleer counsels people trying to leave extremist groups. He says some veterans of the recent wars comeback desensitized to other cultures after being put into situations where they cannot always tell friend from foe.
“You have to dehumanize other human beings. To prepare people for violence you have to dehumanize the target first.”
McAleer says people who commit violent acts and break the law need to be held accountable. When it comes to coaxing someone away from extremist ideology, debating their beliefs - no matter how dangerous or far-fetched, probably won’t work.
“That’s the challenge to help people leave that behind. When you try to challenge their ideas. You challenge their identity. And the ego defense mechanisms kick in and they shut down and it’s very difficult to get through. ”
A decade ago, McAleer also helped found Life After Hate, which now has a federal grant to deradicalize people who are trying to leave violent extremist groups. Spokesman Dimitrios Kalantzis says the difference between now and a decade ago, people are speaking more openly about the threat of domestic radical extremism.
“People will hopefully, more people will get the help they need before they become radicalized to violence. Before they take that last and final step.”
In the wake of the siege of the Capitol, and as awareness grows, there is hope that veterans groups will more actively involve themselves in deradicalization programs. After all, these are the groups that vets often turn to first for help. Steve Walsh KPBS News

That story from KPBS’ Steve Walsh.

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 News Now

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.