FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Gov. Gavin Newsom focused on food and agriculture workers during his visit to Fresno on Friday — while joined by lawmakers and comedian George López.
“You know you went to the store and there was no toilet paper and you went to the store and there was no paper towel, you went to the store, and there was no hand sanitizer, but when you went to the store, there was food,” said California State Senator Anna Caballero.
This visit marked Newsom’s second time in the Central Valley this week. During his visit to Arvin on Monday, Newsom made a series of announcements to ramp up vaccinations in the Valley. They include a 58% increase in vaccine allocation to the Central Valley, 11 mobile vaccination sites and 34,000 doses specifically for food and ag workers.
“On Monday we said we were going to set up 11 sites like this over the course of the week, and we’ve done just that,” Newsom said.
The mobile site Newsom visited on Friday in Fresno was at Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, known as FIRM. Friday marked their first day as a mobile vaccination site.
Joe Prado with the Fresno County Department of Public Health said the doses they received for that site were in addition to the county’s allocation.
“When I say outreach, we recognize that we can’t do it alone, not just elected officials, we need partners like FIRM,” Newsom said.
FIRM and community-based organizations are part of the COVID-19 Equity Project, and they’ve been key in reaching underserved communities with COVID-19 testing and now vaccinations.
“My district is a hotspot within a hotspot. I think when it comes to the equity, resources, the distribution of vaccines, the governor is meeting the moment,” Fresno City Council Vice President Nelson Esparza said.
Newsom was also joined by comedian George López.
“To get up so early and work every day and to work a job that might be the most difficult job and to do it with zero fanfare, that when something like this happens, they should be at the front of the line,” López said.
Newsom was pressed on the FEMA mass vaccination site he said would be coming to the Central Valley.
“Here’s what happened, full disclosure. The state of California was the beneficiary of the first two federal sites. Other states were not as pleased as we all were of being the first,” he said.
Newsom said he’s still committed in getting one to the Central Valley, but added that between now and then, he’s bringing mobile vaccination sites and increasing allocations.
Fresno County is seeing their biggest allocation thus far next week.
“We’re going to see the largest dose allocation given to Fresno County next week. We’ll be at 32,000 doses next week,” Prado said.