Eric Garcetti, LA mayor, sees progress on COVID-19, blames feds for Latino woe

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Sunday his city is making progress against the coronavirus but blamed ongoing problems among the Latino population on the federal government.

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Mr. Garcetti, a Democrat, alluded to the fact that Latinos tend to be front-line workers and that illegal immigrants don’t qualify for aid.

“You have federal assistance that didn’t go to many immigrants or their families,” the mayor told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “They’re being pushed to work more, they don’t have the unemployment.”

Latinos make up 39% of California’s population but account for nearly six in 10 infections and 47% of coronavirus deaths, according to state figures reported by the L.A. Times.

The novel coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December and swiftly spread across the globe. It’s now killed 800,000 people worldwide, including more than 176,000 in the U.S., which has a population of about 330 million.

A protester in a grim reaper costume held a “176k” sign Sunday as President Trump’s motorcade entered the president’s golf property in Sterling, Virginia.
There has been progress in recent weeks, however, after a summer surge of COVID-19 across the Sun Belt.

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The president said he will announce a “major” breakthrough in therapeutics on Sunday night with Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

Also, the seven-day rolling average of reported infections in the U.S. is below 44,000 cases per day, down from over 60,000 at the start of the month.

Mr. Garcetti said his city has made similar progress and driven the rate of cases returning positive to 6%. Experts recommend a positivity rate of lower than 10% to ensure they are catching enough cases in the community.

The mayor also defended his practice of shutting down utilities that serve house parties, saying they could become super-spreaders of the disease.

“Where people don’t listen, we’re going to shut them down,” Mr. Garcetti said.

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