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Garcetti: ‘Not a Lot of Regrets’ on His Handling of COVID 19 Crisis

CORONA WATCH--In an exclusive interview that aired on NBC Nightly NewsLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Lester Holt that “it’s always a possibility” that he could reimpose a stay-at-home order to combat the spread of Covid-19. But adds, “if it doesn't soar up, I don't think we'll have to close further.”

Plus, he tells Holt “there's not a lot of regrets” in his handling of the coronavirus crisis in his city adding that Los Angeles was the “first to have masks. We were the first to have public testing for people without symptoms. The first to surge kind of an equity officer and focus on the African American community.”

More of the interview heard on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt  

Interview Highlights:

Lester Holt: “Over the last few weeks, you have threatened to reimpose a stay-at-home order in Los Angeles. Does that still feel like it's a possibility?”

Eric Garcetti: “It's always a possibility, but it feels much better today. I think a lot of places are learning a lot about COVID-19. That when you take a step to open up, we should probably pause and wait three to four weeks to see what the impact is. Similarly, when you close things down as we did a couple weeks ago, wait a few weeks to see what the impact is. And so far, things are stabilizing. We're seeing positivity rates come down, seeing hospitalization be able to be stable. So, if it doesn't soar up, I don't think we'll have to close further, but it requires all of us every day to do our part.”

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Lester Holt: “A lot of should've could've going on with this. What keeps you up at night? What keeps running through your mind? ‘Man I wish we had done X, Y, and Z?’”

Eric Garcetti: “Not a lot. I mean here in Los Angeles, first to have masks. We were the first to have public testing for people without symptoms. The first to surge kind of an equity officer and focus on the African American community.”

“So, there's not a lot of regrets, but I will tell you this … I think people imagine that somebody out there has the perfect answer to COVID-19 and if you just stick to the plan, the scientists will tell you exactly what to do … What scientists are telling us changes week-to-week. That's part of what the scientific method is.”

“My message is stick with what we do know. Masks, washing surfaces and hands, and physical distancing, staying at home when you can, and then learn from this. See where for instance, you see spread, shut those places down for a couple days, fix it, but you can probably reopen them with a smarter approach, with a targeted set of protocols. Those are the lessons we're learning is to live in this messy middle, this gray area.”

-cw