Newsom’s Veto of AB 279 Must be Viewed in Context of the Ongoing Pandemic

With his veto of AB 279, which sought to halt evictions of seniors from, and reductions of services at licensed senior care facilities during the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom’s capitulation to  serving the interests of Pacifica Companies aside, it was also a blatant disregard for the well-being of seniors in general, who are among the most vulnerable to the ongoing deadly consequences of the pandemic, but due to the lack of protection from the Delta variant, in particular.  There exists no vaccine for the Delta variant.

Was the veto of AB 279 related to Newsom’s unofficial policy to encourage COVID-19 patients delivery to skilled nursing facilities?  Was he concerned that AB 279 would have opened the door for further investigation into private operator nursing home deaths?  Why act to veto a measure written specifically to protect the lives of seniors rather than sign it into law?

Japanese American and Japanese seniors are a part of the larger COVID-19 death disparity faced by Asian and Pacific Islanders shared also by Black and “Hispanics.”  Dramatic increase in deaths compared to the previous 5-year period are shown in this graphic below:

COVID-19 death increases

COVID-19 has driven the number of deaths of Asian Americans to a 21% increase over the prior 5-year average.  Until Los Angeles County Department of Health verifies otherwise, Save Our Seniors Network is assuming that the 126 deaths at Kei-Ai Los Angeles and Kei-Ai South Bay are a part of this number.  Why are the death numbers at Kei-Ai LA so disproportionately high compared to ALL other skilled nursing facilities (SNF) in CA?  Why has there been NO ACCOUNTABILTY for the operator or any public officials for Kei-Ai LA becoming the most deadly SNF in the entire western United States?

Gavin Newsom should be given due credit for this situation, and his veto of AB 279 can only exacerbate an already grim trend.
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Take a look at this research by Pandemic Research for the People, a crowd-funded project “to look at how COVID-19 has affected Los Angeles County, one of the most populous and diverse urban centers in the United States.”  See “Dipatch 8” here:


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