tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC May 10, 2022 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
♪ announcer: building a better bay area, moving forward, finding solutions, this is abc7 news. kristen: hi there. you are watching "getting answers." today, a massive cleanup effort in tahoe. scuba divers finished a 72-mile journey. we will have more on their plan for underwater cleanups. also, racial disparity in traffic stops. a plan to ban police officers for pulling people over for minor offenses. first, many view covid choices is binary. some doctors are increasingly
warning that thinking is damaging to our health and society. one stanford researcher and specialist has strong views. he tweeted this message, "just because you were masked at one place does not negate that somewhere else. it may matter more. you may be infected and not know it. don't fall into an all or nothing trap. he joins us today. what is this "all or nothing trap?" >> it is like rolling the dice. every activity is a chance you could become exposed, infected. some have exposures that don't develop into full-blown clinical disease. others have a high exposure and
you may develop clinical disease , but every time you meet someone or are in a public setting, you can reduce infectious aerosol around you and how much you are inhaling, so that is the idea behind the tweets saying if you went to an event where you took the mask off, that does not mean more mundane situations like public transit, keep your mask on. kristen: you are trying to say there is this constant risk-benefit equation, but all or nothing is opposite and a lot of people seem to be thinking that way. how do you think that is hurting, that approach? >> i think the key here, especially as a clinician, i want to recognize everyone is trying to do their best. we are two years into this.
people are getting exhausted. it hasn't been feasible that people will mask up and be perfect about it. we tried to do the best we can to develop a plan that will work , and sometimes people miss their medication or an appointment. you work within what people are able to do. there has been some shaming, people stating i am seeing people unmasked or not doing things perfectly, we just need to do enough to slow the transmission down. kristen: that makes me feel better. i encountered this. someone stole my choice as inconsistent when i expressed my preference for a mask on airplanes. they said i'm willing to unmask at work near people, but that was not inconsistent to me. it was making choices based on what was important and what i thought the greater risk was.
>> absolutely. people have been making choices from the very beginning. a lot of patients couldn't stay at home and had to work and we had to take care that them. people had things coming up in their lives, things beyond covid that made it a stressful time for people. the main thing we can do is have empathy, give people the benefit of the doubt, and low-cost interventions, whereby when people are able to do it, do it. where'd the best mask you can come there -- wear best mask where you can. if your c going to be in certain situations, there are situations where you can reduce your risk as much as possible, and if we do this consistently, we will slow down the spread. kristen: you have said that
politicians have ruined one of the low cost benefits. what did they do and what should have happened? >> so, looking back now, the message should have been clear, especially early on the site even if we did not have all the data how effective masking was going to be at a community level, we should not have discouraged people from asking. we should have said there is likely a benefit if everyone does it, with no big cost, so please at a community level, mask. second, we know that n95 masks work better. that is what they are designed and cleared to do, so they should have been pushing those masks, making free supply available with comfortable models. they should have had for testing available for people who cannot achieve a good fit. in the hospital, we do for
testing. many -- fit testing. many do that. they should have done that to achieve a good seal. then they should have made settings where transmissions happen, indoors, crowds. they should have had mandates for those settings, and allowed people to take the mask off outdoors. at someda. if you have an intervention, test, dee if it is working, then if nec improve it. we will run into this problem later this year as we anticipate 100 million americans infected later this year. we should do that before we head into another surge. kristen: some say this message is coming to light. what good is it now? >> yeah, i don't agree with
that. it is better late than never. we know that reinfection's are a big problem and there are new variant -- reinfections are a big problem and there are new variants. we have seen some that are more transmissible. not more virulent, but we may see that. we saw that with delta. we have to be consistent with the messaging, especially because we need people to start buying into public health and understanding and believing public health officials have people's health in mind and nothing more than that. kristen: some doctors, and i do not know if this goes back to the elder nothing thing, some are saying mask mandates don't work. they say they don't do it because people wear masks not protective or wear masks
incorrectly? how do you view that perspective, people are not doing it right or not wearing the masks? >> i would push on what they mean by "they don't work." we need to figure out where they work and they don't work. if you don't have that data, that is not proved to say they don't work. we have data showing high filtration masks do work. i have worn one over two years, never got infected. if they didn't work, why would we have health care workers wearing them? they do work. the public can get a better fit, and their ways to do that from a public health standpoint. it is not all or nothing. if people are wearing masks and high-risk settings, they will have an effect, especially public areas that are crowded such as transit.
transit i pick on specifically because this is what people need to do to go to work, groceries, medical appointments. so this was an area that was particular disappointing to see mask mandates pulled back on. again, here is where you increase supply of the highest quality, best fitting masks. they have two effects. they protect you. or if you are infected, it reduces the amount to those around you. kristen: what do you think is wrong with it you-do-you approach? >> it is the antithesis of public health, right? the antithesis of community effort that is same if you have all of the resources that you need, then you can state protected. that was early on true in 2020,
access to physicians, working from home, getting access to vaccines. that's not true for everybody, especially those who can't work from home and do not have a primary care doctor and have the level of health some other people have to know they have an antiviral drug that could help them, so public health should not just rely on individuals figuring it out for themselves. when commissions desk clinicians are saying this is what they did, their speaking -- clinicians are saying this is what they did, they are speaking from a particular viewpoint. kristen: thank you for your time and insight. i appreciate it. coming up next, cleaning up lake tahoe. tahoe. scuba divers on a
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kristen: one year ago, a team of scuba divers set out to remove thousands of pounds of litter from lake tahoe. it is mission accomplished after cleaning 72 miles of shoreline. the founder of clean up the lake joins us now with more on this massive effort. congratulations. you did it. >> thank you so much. it is surreal to be at the finish line and have pulled out these multiple pounds. kristen: multiple pounds? what did you collect? what was in there?
>> we had all sorts of items, plastic water bottles, aluminum your cans, different -- beer cans, different items that fall off docks or are left behind due to the impact human beings have, and we found other interesting items, 1980's cameras with film in them, and some things, as one person said the world was not ready for what was under the surface of tahoe. maybe off the news we will share a few items off the record. kristen: ok, how is it that it all ended up there? we have been there. it is gorgeous. i get the small trash, but you're talking about something that would not end up there
unless somebody intentionally dumped it? >> it is a great question. there is intentional dumping, even industrial dumping, 20 tires that do not get there accidentally. you can see beer cans of the same brand, and you know it was intentional. a lot of people go quick to say how disgusting it is and who could ever do this, but a lot of people forget that by being here, living in the basin, we have an impact. 90% of the litter we pull out our accidental or simply falling in the lake because we are present here in this part of our world. kristen: why is it so important to the health of the lake to get rid of the trash? >> absolutely. so there are a lot of different effects that litter and trash
can have from being present in waters, micro plastics, and other plastics that break down, two other factors and toxins that can come from other waste left inside this big, beautiful blue lake we have. kristen: how does lake trash diving work? i see that you have a scuba suit, but how do you go in and get the stuff out? do you carry baskets or do you hold the trash in your hands? how does that work? >> that is an absolutely fantastic question that took time for me to learn how to answer. through trial and error, our organization would do scuba cleanups, as simple as finding a tire or anchor 20 feet down and thinking, i don't want to carry this anymore. [laughter] and then developing weighted
rope systems to pull the tires out of the water or use custom hand signals to communicate with divers and gps items to fill up our mesh bags and we have hotspots for litter items, heavy lift trash items that we come back in a year or two, so a lot of logistics and protocols go into this. kristen: it sounds like your physical strength and communication skills in physics improved, right? >> very accurate. i have been training to become a scooper -- scuba instructor, three weeks in a room, and i certainly feel like i could eat a few extra desserts here and there kicking around the lake. kristen: how deep do you go? the lake is super clear.
were you able to go to the bottom and get the stuff out -- out? >> good christian. you may -- good question. you may never have an opportunity to interview me again. the depth is a bit deep for a diver to go and standard scuba, so we went down to 25 feet where the litter was closer to shore. this year, we will have four different lakes that we will cleanup, and a few of those we will go closer to 100 feet, which is our max limit for recreational or professional divers altitude, which is where these links are in the sierras. kristen: wow. it sounds like you have a couple of projects coming up. who is funding this? >> we are. for the 72-mile cleanup, we have
been grateful for the support of all these funds and community grant-giving organizations, but we have great partners moving forward, but we still are short funding to do the work we need to do this year, so anyone can go to clean up the lake.org\donate or get our contact information on a website or social media and you can give me a call directly and talk about how to partner to make a difference in our environment. kristen: good luck with your next dive. thank you so much for your efforts to clean up the sierra lakes. take care. >> thank you for having me. kristen: good luck. next, we will talk about police reform taking shape in various ways across the country, and 1 san francisco police commissioner wants to stop commissioner wants to stop officers from pulling people when a truck hit my car, commissioner wants to stop officers from pulling people the insurance company wasn't fair. i didn't know what my case was worth. so i called the barnes firm.
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one san francisco police commissioner is proposing a ban on some traffic stops. some say black and latino drivers are unfairly pulled over at disproportionally high rates. we have been digging into the data with the standard's report appeared michael, thank you for coming -- reporter. michael, thanks for coming on. >> thank you for having me. so it is when they pull someone over for a minor traffic offense , having a broken tail light, and what officers are really going after is they want to investigate the person for an unrelated crime like having guns , drugs in the car or something like that. kristen: is this common practice in law enforcement? michael: it is hard to say it is common.
traffic stops are common, but have been declining. as to how many of these types of stops are, it is more a matter of analysis. kristen: critics say the problem is it is not being done fairl because black and latino drivers are being pulled over at higher rates. is that substantiated? michael: we are seeing that the issue is there are stark disparities in traffic stop data. in san francisco, in the last year, black people were four times as likely to be pulled over for a vehicle offense in san francisco compared to white drivers, so there are disparities, and depending on how you slice the data, it gets worse. in 2019, 48 particular type of vehicle offense -- for particular types of vehicle offenses, it was four times as
high for some drivers. that is what this policy is trying to address. kristen: so he's trying to do that by banning the stops. tell us about the proposal? >> it is trying to address the pretext stop issue by making low-level traffic stops off-limits altogether for officers, so police would still be able to issue a citation in the mail. they would not be able to pull over the driver and stop them right then and there. the second prong is to limit the type of questions that officers can ask drivers once they pull them over, so if their idea is to investigate them for those unrelated crimes they might not have reason to investigate. kristen: would there be exceptions in the proposal that
would still allow officers to make such stops if they noticed this or saw that? michael: i believe there are exceptions, particularly around crimes that are serious or potentially deadly, so if an officer has a reason to believe that this person might be a threat to somebody, they could certainly still stop them for that and issue the citation for the vehicle offense as well. kristen: has the san francisco police chief or the mayor weighed in on this proposal? michael: the police chief told me recently, not in an interview, but regarding pretext stops overall, he said bottom line, nothing is off the table. he is well aware of the disparities in traffic stop data , and says what the department has been doing is not working and something has to be done to address the disparities, bet is the bottom line. kristen: cities that had banned
officers from making some of these pretext stops, what has been the impact on racial disparities? michael: it is too soon to say. the cities that have taken action recently have done so in just the last year. los angeles within the last couple of months took some steps to limit pretext stops and required officers to have specific information before making a pretext stop. philadelphia did what san francisco did and disband low level -- just band low-level traffic stops. it has all get to be examined. kristen: we have about 30 seconds, but what is the next step? a public hearing, when can people weigh in, a vote? michael: this is an unusual process how the police
commission will hear this policy proposal. it will start on a wednesday when the proposal is introduced. it will be a series of public hearings where people will a chance to weigh in and give their views on the proposal. the idea is to have this culminate in a vote and the fall when the police commission decide whether to adopted, and then there is a whole process afterwards. we are just at the beginning stages of this proposal. kristen: don't go away. we can continue to chat on facebook live. we have more online at abc7news.com. to watch more
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on this interactive show today. we will be here every weekday at 3: tonight, abc news obtaining video of the final moments in that nationwide manhunt. the police chase in evansville, indiana. the capital murder suspect and the former corrections officer who authorities say then shot herself. off the road, across a field. tonight, what was found in that car. casey white, 6'9", saying they planned a shootout with police before crashing. and what about vicky white? what they could hear her say before she fired the gun. also tonight, the american economy. president biden declaring inflation as his number one priority. gas prices hitting an all-time high and how the president explained these rising prices. republicans pouncing. mary bruce at the white house. the growing health concern tonight for parents and their children. news on this deadly hepatitis outbreak spreading across the u.s. at least 27
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