Newsom Announces Blue Ribbon Coronavirus Recovery Task Force

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Saying that public health and safety will come first, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday a new California business task force that will guide the state’s recovery from the economic damage done by the coronavirus crisis.

The governor used his daily briefing to say after 10 years of continual growth, the state was now in a “pandemic induced recession,” with millions of job losses statewide and vunerable, resource-poor communities across the state hit especially hard.

He announced the formation of a team of dozens of business leaders, social justice advocates and other leaders from across the economic and political spectrum who will join in a uniquely Californian approach to recovery.

The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Job Recovery will be headed by Tom Steyer, the longtime California businessman and recent presidential candidate, and will include contributions from all four living former California governors, Gray Davis, Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown.

For his part Steyer said the focus of the task force would be economic recovery, but that would not come at the expense of the health or safety of Californians.  He said the work of the team would be guided by the principals of diversity, inclusion and innovation.

Even as Newsom announced the task force he noted that it came in the midst of a grim milestone for the state, in which California recorded its highest one day coronavirus death toll of 95.  He also noted that the number of deaths statewide was approaching 1 thousand, a number he said he had hoped the state would never see.

While noting that the new task force will begin work immediately, and even as the state grapples with a framework for reopening the economy, the governor said strict stay-at-home restrictions would need to continue for the time being, so that tremendous gains made in suppressing the coronavirus would not be lost in a sudden resurgance of infections.

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