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Governor Gavin Newsom marks the reopening of California with a lottery, Hollywood robot and no mask.




With crowds at the entrance to Disneyland, traffic jams on Los Angeles freeways and triple-digit heat from Sacramento to the San Fernando Valley, the governor of California on Tuesday celebrated the reopening of the state’s economy. , by distributing 10 prizes of $ 1.5 million each to people who had been vaccinated against Covid-19.

We’re here today, June 15, to turn the page, said Governor Gavin Newsom, hosting the Universal Studios Hollywood event with an assortment of Minions from the Despicable Me movie franchise and robot hero Transformers Optimus. Premium.

Speaking without a face covering, the governor said it was time to go beyond capacity limits, to go beyond those color codings, to go beyond social distancing and physical distancing, and yes, when you saw me go on stage to go beyond the masks.

The country’s most populous state officially ended most of its coronavirus-related health restrictions just after midnight, lifting meeting limits in bars and restaurants and largely removing face mask requirements for people. vaccinated people.

California is doing better economically than most states, although its tourism sector has really taken a hit, Newsom noted Monday. The state unemployment rate remains about 4 percentage points higher than before the crisis and above the national average, largely because of layoffs at restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.

Tourism spending in California fell 55% last year. Half of the industry’s workforce, some 600,000 employees, lost their jobs in the first month after the start of the pandemic.

But overall, the California economy has emerged from the pandemic with supernatural strength. The state budget is in record surplus, in large part because so many tech start-ups have gone public and so many white-collar workers have been able to continue working remotely. Mr Newsom is preparing to issue his second round of statewide stimulus checks, this time including taxpayers earning less than $ 75,000 a year.

And tourist attractions, such as the Universal Studios theme park, are bracing for a rebound. Disneyland, which had reopened to state visitors before this week, was blocked on Tuesday as the park expanded its rules to accommodate foreigners and announced that its fireworks would return in July.

Jerry Nickelsburg, assistant professor of economics at the University of California at Los Angeles and director of an economic outlook called UCLA Anderson Forecast, said the state’s relative economic health appeared to be tied to its public health measures. He added that the data backed repeated claims by governors that California had economically outperformed Texas and Florida, both of which were widely open throughout the pandemic.

California was one of the fastest growing states in the last expansion, and all of the factors that led to it still exist, Nickelsburg said.

What has been good for the state has been good for Mr Newsom, who is facing a recall campaign against him. But his approval ratings have improved as the pandemic recedes, and his fellow Democrats, who control the Legislature, are now questioning whether to speed up the scheduled fall election so he can capitalize on the post-pandemic goodwill.

And Mr Newsom has been exuberant in recent weeks as he stormed the state, offering $ 50,000 lottery prizes on vaccines ahead of this week’s grand prize draws.

Today is a day to reconnect to hug people, to remind them they weren’t out of the woods yet, to remind them that they were all in the same boat, the governor said on Tuesday.

Protect the planet, protect each other, Optimus Prime added. Autobots, get started.

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