Travel News

How does the vaccine rollout in California compare to other parts of the country?

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On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented his vaccination tour in San Diego, where he and local officials held a press conference highlighting the state’s progress from Petco Park, where the first mass vaccination site in the state vaccinated an average of 5,000 people per day. .

There, Mr Newsom said as part of the federal partnership he announced last week, another mass vaccination site was being prepared somewhere in the Central Valley – one of the hardest-hit regions of the state.

[See coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations in California.]

“These sites are important and impactful,” he said. Yet, he said, “not only do we want rapid and efficient distribution, but also fair distribution. We know we have work to do.

Rolling out the vaccine is a pretty big effort for the Newsom administration – and not just because getting many of the state’s roughly 40 million people vaccinated is critical to stopping the spread of the virus.

For Mr. Newsom, widespread frustration with what Californians say is a confusing and piecemeal vaccination campaign is also a major political handicap.

So the governor was quick to point out the magnitude of the challenge in the state, the most populous in the country, and blamed California’s relatively slow progress early in the process to delays in reporting data, which he promised his administration would settle.

The Times has been tracking vaccination efforts across the country for weeks, including with a state-by-state ranking. I asked my colleague Amy Schoenfeld Walker, who worked on the tracker, to explain a little more what he can tell us about the California deployment.

[See the vaccine tracker here.]

Here is our conversation:

The governor has repeatedly referred to California’s ranking among states in the vaccine rollout, and he said part of the reason the state initially ranked low on the list was the delays in data communication. Can you explain how the ranking is made?

States report vaccinations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the CDC publishes this information daily on its website. There may be reporting delays between healthcare providers, states, and the CDC

Many states, including California, also have their own immunization websites, which don’t always match CDC data due to these reporting delays. The Times uses CDC data on our vaccine tracker to provide a more in-depth comparison between jurisdictions.

How should people think about where California ranks relative to other states and the nation as a whole, especially given the size of the state?

We publish the number of people vaccinated as a percentage of a state’s population to remove state size from the equation. So while California has received and administered more vaccines than any other state, the share of its population that has received a vaccine is lower than 17 other states.

What should Californians remember from the percentage of doses used?

This measures the amount of vaccine administered that actually entered the guns. There are many reasons why this number is less than 100 percent, including delays in reporting by providers and over-allocation of doses to sites with lower vaccine demand. Many of these “unused” injections may also be brought up in some places, as appointments booked for vaccinations are not included in the “doses used” figure. Storing vaccines for mass immunization clinics can also reduce the percentage of doses used.

What are you following more closely in the future? Are there any numbers you hope you can track once states (presumably) start releasing more detailed data?

We hope to see more county-level figures in the coming weeks so we can look at vaccination rates in more detail. How does the deployment vary in different parts of California? We also closely monitor what states share about the race and ethnicity of those who have been vaccinated, as this information is often not collected when someone is vaccinated.

Are there any national trends that particularly worry you or give you hope?

President Biden recently said he is aiming for the country to administer 1.5 million doses of vaccine per day, and we are very close to achieving that goal. We will be watching to see if the United States can maintain or even exceed this pace in the days and weeks to come.

[Here are answers to all your questions about getting vaccinated.]

  • At the worst of the winter wave, nearly a quarter of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 died at Martin Luther King Jr. – by size, the hardest-hit hospital in the hardest-hit county in the state, which now leads the country in cases. This is despite advances in understanding the disease. [The New York Times]

Here’s another look at how the virus has unevenly hit communities in Los Angeles County. [The New York Times]

  • California and other states have moratoriums on evictions and other measures designed to protect vulnerable tenants. But that does not remove the rent arrears, and some of the people who need it most may miss help. [The New York Times]

  • San Francisco officials have sought to reassure residents shaken by violent street attacks on two older men, which left them both dead. One, which resulted in the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, is of particular concern to members of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community still rocked by a wave of incidents in 2019 and 2020. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • “I’m losing sleep over it.” Punjabi farmers living in the central valley – as in Yuba City, nicknamed “Mini Punjab” – rally with farmers demonstrating in India. [The Guardian]

Learn more about the reasons Indian farmers are protesting. [The New York Times]

  • A multi-year fight between Hollywood agents and TV writers on practices that the authors say created an unfair financial conflict of interest for officers. [The New York Times]

  • Hunter Biden and his family have reportedly moved into a three-story canal house in Venice. Earlier this month, Secret Service cars parked in the famous scenic (and notoriously expensive) neighborhood created “quite a buzz.” [Venice Current]

Friday is the Lunar New Year. But like, well, pretty much every holiday in the past year, the celebrations won’t look like they normally do.

Fortunately, even though the communities cannot come together at festivals and parades, there is always food available.

As Andrea Nguyen wrote for the Food section of The Times – in an article with lots of recipes – as the Vietnamese diaspora has grown, families have adapted Tet traditions.

“Although I don’t live in Vietnam or an enclave in Little Saigon, Lunar New Year remains strong in my DNA,” she wrote. “It’s a state of mind more than a medium.”

If you’re not ready to whip up a feast for a small group, you can support your favorite local restaurants by ordering take out. (The San Francisco Chronicle has this useful list of Lunar New Year promotions.)

And as the Orange County Register reported, there are still flowers.

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

Travel News

Lack of small parts disrupts auto factories around the world

Automakers braced for the crisis when the pandemic struck. They expected supply chain disruptions and slump in sales. But they never thought that a year later one of their biggest problems would be the PlayStations.

Strong demand for gaming systems, personal computers, and other electronic devices from a world stuck inside has depleted semiconductor stocks, forcing automakers around the world to scramble for chips have become as essential to mobility as gasoline or steel.

Virtually no automaker has been spared. Toyota Motor has closed its production lines in China. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has temporarily halted production at plants in Ontario and Mexico. Volkswagen has warned of production issues at factories in China, Europe and the United States. Ford Motor said last week it was idling a plant in Louisville, Ky., For a week due to the shortage.

When Covid-19 hit, automakers slashed chip orders in anticipation of falling sales. At the same time, semiconductor manufacturers have shifted their production lines to meet growing orders for chips used in products such as laptops, webcams, tablets, and 5G smartphones.

Businesses have also upgraded their digital infrastructure to handle online meetings and employees working from home, while telecom companies have invested in broadband infrastructure, further fueling demand for semiconductors.

Then auto sales rebounded faster than expected at the end of 2020, catching everyone off guard. The resulting chip shortages are expected to last until 2021, as it will take between six and nine months for semiconductor manufacturers to realign production.

“Consumer electronics have exploded,” said Dan Hearsch, managing director of consulting firm AlixPartners. “Everyone and their brother wanted to buy an Xbox, PlayStation, and laptops, while the car pulled up. Then the automobile came back faster than expected, and that’s where you find yourself in this problem. “

While the shortage is not expected to cause auto prices to rise sharply, buyers may have to wait longer to get the vehicles they want.

The chip shortage has its roots in the long-term forces reshaping the auto and semiconductor industries, as well as the short-term confusion caused by the pandemic.

Over the past decade, automakers have become increasingly dependent on electronics to enhance the appeal of their products, adding features such as touch screens, computerized engine controls and transmissions, integrated cellular and Wi-Fi connections and collision avoidance systems using cameras. and other sensors.

New cars can have more than a hundred semiconductors, and the absence of a single component can trigger production delays or shutdowns, industry analysts and consultants have said.

Long-term pressure on chipmakers to control production costs also played a role. Semiconductor companies that supply the automotive industry, such as Infineon, NXP Semiconductors, and Renesas, have chosen to have their most advanced chips manufactured for them by outside manufacturing services, called foundries. But manufacturers also maintain their own factories to make simpler automatic chips, frequently making them on eight-inch silicon wafers rather than the 12-inch disks used in more modern factories.

Manufacturers with factories using older eight-inch wafers have not been able to easily increase production. They hadn’t invested much lately in new equipment, which is now harder to find because the technology is older, said Syed Alam, a global leader in semiconductor consulting practice. Accenture.

Geopolitics also played a role. The Trump administration in September imposed restrictions on Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, China’s largest smelter, which produces chips for cars and many other applications. Customers of the company have started looking for alternatives, generating additional competition for chip supplies from other foundries, said Gaurav Gupta, vice president of research firm Gartner.

The chip crisis is one example of how the pandemic has rocked the global economy in unpredictable ways. Automakers expected to face supply chain shortages, and factories closed in early 2020 over fears workers could infect each other, or because trucking companies had ceased to deliver. Most American auto plants went out of production for about two months last spring.

But suppliers and automakers quickly found ways to contain contagion in factories and revived assembly lines. The impact on most parts supplies has been less than feared.

The semiconductor shortage has moved out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous time. Sales plunged around the world. In Europe, for example, they were down 25% in 2020.

All of this is happening as automakers attempt to navigate a change in core technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California-based company that has become from far the most valuable automaker in the world, and emerging. Chinese manufacturers like Nio.

The exact duration of the shortage is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed for the chips to be produced and through the supply chain to reach the cars, said Michael Hogan, senior vice president of GlobalFoundries, a large chip maker serving the automotive industry and other markets.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to prioritize our automotive production,” said Hogan.

German automotive electronics supplier Bosch said the shortage was particularly acute for integrated circuits used to control engines, transmissions and other key functions. “Despite the difficult market situation, Bosch is doing everything it can to ensure supply to its customers and minimize any further impact,” the company said in a statement.

Automakers and suppliers are responding to the best of their ability. Honda said it didn’t have to shut down production lines, but gave priority to its most popular models. BMW, based in Munich, said it had been able to maintain production but was “watching the situation intensively” and in constant contact with suppliers.

German supplier Continental, which is best known for its tires but also produces electronic components, called on semiconductor producers to boost the capacity of foundries that produce chips.

“Future investments in these foundries will therefore be essential for the auto industry to avoid such supply chain disruptions in the future,” Continental said in a statement.

Munich-based Infineon said it was increasing its investments in new production capacity in 2021 to 1.5 billion euros, or $ 1.8 billion, from 1.1 billion euros in 2020. The company is also ramping up production of a new chip factory in Villach, Austria, which will produce 12-inch wafers.

But it will take time for semiconductor manufacturers to catch up. In the meantime, the PlayStations have priority.

“The automotive industry is back and they’re not at the forefront of chips anymore,” said Gary Silberg, global head of automotive practice at KPMG.

Neal E. Boudette and Hisako Ueno contributed reporting.

Travel News

Parts of Capitol Hill are evacuated as protesters flood the grounds.

Capitol Police have ordered the evacuation of at least one office building on Capitol Hill as protesters flooded the grounds as part of a widespread protest against President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s certification of victory.

Police went door to door in the Cannon House office building to order the evacuation before the alert reached some offices, according to a person working in the building. While the alert sent to the Capitol offices mentioned only “police activity,” videos posted to social media showed hundreds of protesters crossing barricades outside the Capitol and clashing with officers.

Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican recruit from South Carolina, said she saw protesters “attacking Capitol Police.” In one Twitter message, Ms Mace shared a video of the chaos and wrote, “This is wrong. It’s not who we are. I am heartbroken for our nation today. “

Police fired what appeared to be flash bang grenades. Rather than disperse, the demonstrators applauded and shouted: “advance, advance”. A protester shouted “this is our home”, that is to say the Capitol

As officers and protesters clashed outside, lawmakers debated an objection to the certification of Arizona voters, seated in their respective chambers. Kentucky Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Majority Leader warned of a “death spiral” for democracy, while Republican Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio listed a litany of accusations electoral fraud with little evidence.

“I do not recognize our country today, and the members of Congress who have supported this anarchy do not deserve to represent their fellow Americans,” said Representative Elaine Luria, Democrat of Virginia.

Trump supporters were seen trying to tear down security barriers, confronting police and trying to enter the building.

Travel News

Earthquake shakes parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island

A minor earthquake rocked parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Sunday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.0, the Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, which occurred around 9:10 a.m., had its epicenter in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, which is about 50 miles east of Providence, RI

No damage or injury was immediately reported.

According to Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the agency, preliminary reports to the Geological Survey suggested it was being felt as far as the Long Island Strait.

“We do not expect this earthquake to suffer significant damage,” Caruso said. “Earthquakes in this area are usually felt very far away because the rocks in this area are very contiguous, very old, so they transmit the energy of earthquakes very well.”

There have been 26 earthquakes in southern New England since 1963, he said, but it was one of the biggest.