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Climate Change “Unity Task Force” Launched by Biden and Sanders.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have joined together this week to launch “Unity Task Forces” for Climate Change and Health Care.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is helping Joe Biden’s presidential campaign develop proposals by co-chairing a climate policy panel that the former vice president created as part of a larger effort to appeal to the party’s left wing. AOC has championed the movement for a Green New Deal working with the Sunrise Movement and other advocacy organizations to raise climate change awareness. Varshini Prakash, the 26-year-old president of the Sunrise Movement, has also accepted a role on the climate task force. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, a top Biden surrogate, will be the other co-chair of the climate panel. He negotiated the Paris Climate Accord intended to reduce global production of greenhouse gases. 

The climate task force exists alongside groups on criminal justice restructuring, immigration, health care, education and the economy. The task forces include five members picked by Biden and three picked by Sanders.  

Five members of the health-care group support “Medicare for All”: the House author of the current legislation, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.); Medicare for All caucus member Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-Ill.); SEIU President Mary Kay Henry; and former gubernatorial candidates Don Berwick and Abdul El-Sayed. A sixth member, Sherry Glied, supports an Australia-style universal Medicaid system. “Advocacy for Biden’s own primary position — that Medicare for All would be too expensive and undermine the gains of the Obama years — is shunted to the margins,” according to The Washington Post. 

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California Counties and Businesses Clash with Governor Newsom on State’s Readiness Criteria for Re-Opening

California faces enormous challenges in the balance between protecting public health and re-opening its economy that has crushed thousands of small businesses.

The State’s Stage 2 Readiness Criteria released last week requires counties to have “No COVID-19 deaths in the past 14 days”. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer sent the following letter to Governor Gavin Newsom today in regards to the feasibility of this criteria.

The issue with a numerical not percentage based criteria for counties is that the Governor’s proposal does not take county population into account. San Diego has had no new deaths since Friday, Orange County had 2 today, but Los Angeles had 39 deaths just today so could have to wait until 2021 to see any re-opening under this criteria. Rural California will probably be the only areas able to start re-opening any time soon.

Alameda County has had no new deaths in the last two days and is home to the Tesla controversy. Elon Musk has pledged to move Tesla operations out of California over the lockdown dispute with the county and re-opened today asking officials to arrest him.