Gov. Gavin Newsom traveled to the Fresno fairgrounds on Wednesday to announce the eventual launch of a mass vaccination site. Yet he was able to share no details about the site or when it will open, which is contingent on the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The administration has been criticized lately for shifting its vaccination priorities, giving those 65 and up the same priority as ag workers in the next round of doses.
As with other recent press conferences, the governor gathered several local Democrats to praise his record, a political move to counter a mounting recall petition. Rep. Jim Costa, for example, saluted Newsom’s visit to the San Joaquin Valley in his first week of office.
“He's made tough decisions that aren't popular right now, as you can tell from some folks,” said Costa. Behind the press conference, a demonstrator chanted on a megaphone to recall Newsom.
Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West.
State Senator Melissa Hurtado of Sanger called the governor a great advocate for the Central Valley. A county supervisor then thanked him for supporting a county program that vaccinated 3,000 farmworkers and called it “a resounding success” because about 90% of the workers accepted the shot. Newsom also said California’s 5-millionth vaccine dose went to an 85-year-old former farmworker.
Social justice advocates, however, likely did not appreciate the governor thanking Foster Farms for vaccinating 1,000 staff, which “they did quite efficiently,” he said. The company has taken extensive criticism from labor advocates for large outbreaks last year at its processing plants.