With the announcement this week by Governor Newsom that business establishments would once again be allowed to be open (with restrictions), we saw for the first time that hopefully we are on the right path to getting back to normal. That combined with the announcement that President Biden will attempt to obtain more than 200 million more vaccines, means that hopefully the entire U.S. population could be vaccinated by the fall of this year. The good news is that the State of California will continue vaccinations “through 65+, health care workers, and prioritize emergency services, food and agricultural workers, teachers and school staff. From there the state will transition to age-based eligibility.”
I expect that the County of San Diego will move the vaccination site in Imperial Beach from City Hall to the Mar Vista High School gym. Please note that it is the County of San Diego that manages all vaccination registration at the Imperial Beach location (similar to how COVID-19 testing is managed at Sports Park). I applaud the immediate offer to make the Mar Vista High School gym available by Sweetwater Union High School District Trustee Paula Hall and Superintendent Moises Aguirre. This is a team effort and much more will have to be done if we are to win the battle against COVID-19.
Many of you reached out to me as well regarding local businesses violating public health orders. The City of Imperial Beach immediately notifies the County of San Diego Public Health Department about all health order violations. The County of San Diego then issues cease and desist orders to the businesses in question. Enforcement of those orders is the responsibility of County of San Diego agencies.One business that has violated public health orders, IB Fitness, has even named me personally in a lawsuit contesting public health related business restrictions (so much for my close to 20 year membership there and working with them tirelessly to transition to outdoor workouts after COVID hit). At this point, I prefer to focus my efforts on getting our businesses back open by continuing to pressure officials at every level to get vaccinations moving much more quickly. That is our only way out of this global and entirely preventable pandemic.
One of the ironies of the past four years was the speed with which the federal government was able to spend billions of dollars to build unnecessary border walls. And yet, when I was at the White House in 2019 and asked for the same prioritization and speed for construction of Tijuana River sewage diversion infrastructure, the Trump administration decided to slow roll the planning process. That is why this week I asked President Biden and our Congressional Delegation to take funds from the now cancelled border wall projects and re-invest them in border sewage infrastructure for the Tijuana River. That includes $150 million that was slated for a proposed wall that would have crossed the Tijuana River channel. Let’s hope President Biden can move federal agencies to move more quickly so we can have clean beaches year-round. Imperial Beach knows too well the cost of waiting too long to solve public health and pollution crises.