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News

A.M. Brief: L.A.’s First Vaccines Arrive at LAX

December 14, 2020 by Brian Champlin
Photo via LAX Airport on Twitter

L.A.’s first shipment of vaccine has arrived, and it can’t be distributed soon enough. Also this morning: Public defenders overwhelmed by caseloads, poor census reporting in the 34th District, and the two LASD deputies involved in the death of Andrés Guardado have been suspended—except it’s not for the shooting. It’s Monday. Here is your news. Take it!

Morning News Brief

The first batch of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to be distributed in Los Angeles arrived at LAX on Sunday evening. L.A. is expected to receive a total of about 83,000 doses this week, with the first vaccinations to occur at 83 acute-care hospitals throughout the county. [NBC Los Angeles]

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On Sunday, Public Health reported that over 4,000 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in the county, the highest total so far. 21% of those hospitalized are in the ICU. The Southern California Regional ICU capacity stands at just 4.2%. [ABC 7]

The 34th Congressional District, which includes constituents in downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, Chinatown, Koreatown, and Highland Park, has reported the lowest self-response to the 2020 Census in the entire state. The low response rate will almost certainly lead to an undercount in the district’s population, which in turn could lead to a deficit of critical government funding and resources. [LAist]

L.A.’s public defenders are pleading for help as “unconscionable caseloads” pile up, leading to unmanageable stress and inadequate representation. One public defender told the L.A. Times that most felony attorneys have as many as 50 clients, which is double their standard workload. Another attorney who handles misdemeanors told the Times his caseload had roughly tripled as of mid-November. [LA Times]

Two LASD deputies involved in the killing of Andrés Guardado have been relieved of duty this week in connection with a traffic collision that took place two months before the Guardado shooting. [LA Times]

Are you doing your holiday shopping in person? Considering a dental appointment? Putting your child in daycare? LAist recently spoke to a virologist at USC Keck School of Medicine to assess risk levels for various activities and personal services. [LAist]

Organizers trying to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom say they have now obtained more than half of the necessary 1.5 million signatures to get it on the ballot. California’s most recent gubernatorial recall took place in 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger deposed Democrat Gray Davis. [ABC 7]

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