An incomplete story: Behind the scenes of CA’s pandemic response

Santa Monica pier, beach and walkways are still closed due to COVID-19, May 8, 2020. Photos by Lisa Hornak for CalMatters.

(CALMATTERS) – Even as California appears to be nearing the end of the pandemic, many gaps remain in our knowledge about the past year’s events — raising questions as to the state’s preparedness for potential future disasters.

Today — with record-low hospitalizationsa 1.1% positivity rate and Los Angeles County set to enter the least restrictive reopening tier — it can be hard to remember the rampant uncertainty of March 2020, when Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that 56% of Californians could be infected with COVID-19 within two months. That projection appears to have come from figures calculated by Dr. Charity Dean, who at the time was California’s assistant director of public health and is one of the main characters in Michael Lewis’ latest book, “The Premonition.” Dean, according to an interview Lewis gave 60 Minutes on


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