What They’re Saying: Health, State and Local Leaders Praise Governor’s $2.7 Billion COVID-19 Emergency Response Package


Soraya Marashi


Health advocates, state and local officials and other California leaders are expressing their support for Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $2.7 billion COVID-19 Emergency Response Package – including a $1.4 billion emergency appropriation request – to bolster testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers, strengthen the health care system and battle misinformation.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “Governor Newsom is right to prioritize the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change in his 2022 budget. There is an urgent need to increase vaccinations, testing and ensure we have sufficient medical personnel to meet this unprecedented wave caused by the omicron variant.”

California Medical Association President Robert E. Wailes, M.D.: “This Emergency Response Package to boost testing, vaccine distribution and support health care workers comes at a critical time as cases of the Omicron variant surge nationwide. The California Medical Association appreciates Governor Newsom’s leadership as his administration continues to work to anticipate the state’s needs and implement strong public health measures that will save lives.”

California Hospital Association President & CEO Carmela Coyle: “As the current Omicron surge demonstrates, no one knows for how long the COVID-19 pandemic will endure or the enormity of its impact on California for years to come. What we do know is that the demands on our state’s health care system have never been greater, and we need all the support we can get. The Governor’s request for this funding, including resources to shore up a depleted workforce, represents a vital step toward making sure the health care needs of every Californian are met as a crisis with no known end date continues to claim lives every day.”

County Health Executives Association of California Executive Director Michelle Gibbons: “Governor Newsom’s announcement today to invest $2.7 billion in ongoing COVID-19 emergency response comes at a pivotal time in our fight against this deadly disease and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. We commend the Governor for taking these decisive actions to help protect the health and well-being of local communities through the expansion of vaccines, testing, and booster shots and efforts to combat misinformation that has caused unnecessary deaths and illness. These actions will ultimately help save lives, which remains a top priority for local public health.”

California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems President and CEO Erica Murray: “As we face this unprecedented surge, additional resources and supports are needed now more than ever. We appreciate the Governor’s investment of $300 million to help support the vaccine distribution, as well as funding for testing and contact tracing. Public health care systems will continue to work side-by-side with their hospital and county partners to serve and protect patients.”

California Academy of Family Physicians President Shannon Connolly, MD, FAAFP: “The Governor’s proposed budget includes strategic investments to strengthen future and ongoing efforts to improve equity and access for underserved communities…CAFP supports the Governors science-based approach to fighting COVID-19 and the $2.7 billion investments for vaccines, boosters, statewide testing, and increased medical personnel.”

American Lung Association California Advocacy Director Erica Costa: “We are pleased that the Governor has identified defeating COVID-19 as the top priority for the state in this year’s budget. With over 67 million vaccines and boosters administered, 124 million tests processed and 6,000 testing sites in California, $11.6 billion has been invested into ending COVID-19 over the past year. An additional $2.7 billion will be invested into further testing and expanded vaccination efforts. We look forward to seeing continued investment in defeating the pandemic and placing public health as the top priority for the state.”

California State Association of Counties Executive Director Graham Knaus: “This state investment comes at a critical time for counties as they face an unprecedented wave of COVID-19 cases. We must not lose sight of the tremendous burden our counties face to protect their residents. We thank Governor Newsom for his continued support and recognition of counties during this pandemic.”

California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas: “We applaud Governor Newsom’s $2.7 billion commitment to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including $1.4 billion in immediate funding…the governor continues his commitment to address our education staffing crisis, proposing additional resources in his budget to tackle this critical issue.”

California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski: “We applaud the Governor for devoting significant resources to fighting COVID as the pandemic intensifies. The Governor expressed his commitment to reinstating COVID supplemental paid sick leave, a vital weapon in our state’s arsenal to slow the spread and protect workers who have borne the brunt of this pandemic from its inception.”

Fresno Building Healthy Communities: “With Omicron on the rise, we know the pandemic is not over. @GavinNewsom is proposing $2.7B including $1.4B in emergency urgent action, to support testing, vaccination & booster efforts while supporting frontline workers & battling misinfo[rmation]. Let’s get these $$ to grassroot efforts.”

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach): “The Governor’s #CABudget proposal comes as we enter the 3rd year of the pandemic. This is a critical juncture for California— we must continue to combat the COVID-19 crisis and make the investments that will enable us to forge a swift, robust & equitable recovery.”

Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-Arleta): “I want to commend Governor Newsom for his leadership throughout the pandemic and for recognizing the critical need for an additional COVID response package.”

This press release was provided by the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.