tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC May 11, 2022 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT
announcer: this is abc seven news. kristen: you're watching getting answers. we ask experts your questions to get the answers for you in real time. today, a new wave of labor movement hitting the shores of santa cruz. two starbucks locations voted today to unionize, becoming the first in california to do so. we will talk to a lead organizer about the vote and its impact. it is costing a bundle to borrow money. the average interest rate for a long-term mortgage is the highest in a decade while home prices dropped 20% in march. redfin's chief economist will share the forecast to help you determine when to buy or sell. first, the latest on covid.
joining us is dr. peter jen home. if you have a question, please ask on facebook live. we want this segment to be of help. >> my pleasure. thank you for having me. kristen:. several big headlines are the first, the european union will no longer recommend masks be required for air travel, citing vaccination levels and natural immunity. does that sound sensible? >> it is -- would we have done in the u.s. and may be people there with the -- would use the u.s. as a playbook. just because there is no requirement does not mean it is not a good idea for some people in some situations. probably, as we all know, people may not want to get infected and there are certain people who come if they get infected, would have serious consequences. those people would definitely want to keep wearing a mask.
kristen: like an 95, right? is there a situation similar to ours in the u.s.? in terms of vaccination and natural immunity? >> it is about the same. but they are having a more liberal approach. certainly denmark in the u.k. have done that for some time. australia even. that is the trend of europe. they are moving more from population level protection to individual assessment of risk. that makes it very hard for an average person to determine individual risk. kristen: speaking of risk, we are also hearing today a growing percentage of covid deaths were among vaccinated people. can you explain this? >> it is vaccinated people who have been -- if you look at the three phases of the pandemic. early on, delta and then
omicron. early on in the regular first wave, we saw many older people die. that's dropped as vaccinations became more onboard. what happened during omicron was a reversion to earlier where older people are dying. about 40% are vaccinated, the -- but these people are not boosted. that brings us to the most important point, the first booster is really important to even keep people from the hospital and to keep people from dying, particularly our older population. kristen: that first booster, or the third shot, that is critical? more so than the second? dr. chin-hong: yes. in fact, only less than half, 50% of those over 65 have been boosted. that is tens of millions of americans total.
we debate about the second booster, but the first booster is golden. there is so much evidence about that. looking at deaths during omicron really speaks to that point. kristen: despite what we have seen here, only one third of americans were either somewhat worried or very worried about catching covid last month. even as new cases continue to rise. is that optimism warranted? dr. chin-hong: i think it is probably a little misguided, unfortunately. i think probably the question fell to people when they answered it as, am i worried about dying? because that statistic might make sense. whereas getting infection, as people who know who are listening to this, is so common right now. the official numbers are an underestimation of the real risk because of people doing testing at home. make no mistake, we do have more
tools. it is a matter of people knowing about these tools and how to use them. we do not know what will happen in the fall. the white house estimation is that 100 million americans will still get infected in the fall which means a lot of people are going to get reinfected. kristen: speaking of the fall, as the white house looks towards that, they are struggling to pass a pandemic aid package. the white house wants $22 billion, but a smaller $10 billion package to bring republicans on board has stalled. is that package still necessary? what would it bias? dr. chin-hong: i was going to say omg, but decided not to. anyway. it is so important because one of the critical things we need to do right now is police the border. for the next generation of vaccines. version 2.0 will probably include some of the updated spike protein codes.
our original vaccine is great for keeping you alive, but not great for preventing infection. we update those vaccines, put them in the booster, that is what that money is for. also other therapeutics like paxlovid. not even talking about aid to the rest of the world, this is just domestic. if we don't put the order in on time, the vaccines will only be allocated to people at the highest level of risk. kristen: i want to get it to a couple of your questions. how long can you test positive? i am on day 11 testing positive with no symptoms. is it safe for me to go out? dr. chin-hong: it is safe for you to go out after day 10. i would not test at day 10 unless you were working with the patient population. even then, most -- and it depends on what test you are doing. certainly with a pcr you could be testing for weeks.
we know that from studies that positive pcr after day 10, most times rather than not is dead virus. it is so sensitive it is picking up rna that is not alive. if you do the ad should jen test after -- antigen test, positive or not, unless you are with a high-risk population, cdc guidance suggests you can go out as regular. so, do not test day 10 unless you are going back to a high-risk population. kristen: you mentioned pcr tests are so sensitive you could test positive for weeks. i am wondering about this sonoma county parochial school, saint rose catholic in santa rosa, really the first one to shut back down since omicron because they had a big outbreak. but they say students cannot come back until they have had a negative pcr tests. what do you think about that? is there a different way to do with that would still accomplish their goals? dr. chin-hong: totally.
the rubric is use a pcr if you are worried about diagnosis and the beginning because antigen test's may be a false negative. but, use the antigen test to exit because pcr is too sensitive. tons of studies show it may pick up random fragments, certainly not alive after day 10. kristen: mark says, i am not letting my guard down. but i am still with a mental disability that cannot wear a mask. would you say to those who cannot wear face masks like people with autism, hearing-impaired or have asthma? dr. chin-hong: that is extremely tough. i think of it as may be harm reduction. again, using the strategies i am sure mark has used. outdoors when possible, it is unlikely to get infected outdoors.
knowing how to get access to paxlovid, if you can. we have that as a tool. get up-to-date on your vaccines. even if you get infected and your maximally protected from infection or disease and you know how to get paxlovid to keep you away from the hospital, i think you would probably have hopefully better peace of mind. kristen: two speed rounds per both are such good questions. erica wants to know if one were faxed and boosted and gets covid, how long does natural immunity last? dr. chin-hong: if you get natural covid and you have been vaccinated before. that acts like a third shot, will probably last for many months. we do not know for sure, it depends on the new variants. kristen: if somebody has mild covid symptoms versus some of the with more severe symptoms, will the long-term effects affect the severe person more, or the same? dr. chin-hong: it is not the
same. the more serious the symptoms are, the higher the chance of chronic conditions or long covid. we know that for multiple studies, people in the icu with covid have a much harder time with chronic symptoms. even though you are still at risk if you are unvaccinated and you can get a mild infection. first an if you had flu like symptoms, rest assured you should eventually be fine, right? dr. chin-hong: particularly if you are vaccinated. that all depends on home -- how much virus is in your blood in the beginning. an unvaccinated person has more virus because the t cells do not kick it up. that is why paxlovid may help because it kills the virus quickly, even if you are unvaccinated. kristen: dr. chin-hong, thank you for the information we will see you next time. kristen: two santa cruz starbucks' begin the
kristen: something is brewing at starbucks. a new labor movement. today, two starbucks in santa cruz became the first in california to unionize after employees voted to join starbucks workers united, which is connected with the service employees international union. joining us now for a big rally -- from a big rally is joe. thank you for your time today. >> thank you for having me. kristen: it is history making. the first successful unionization at california starbucks. how do you feel? chris -- >> it has been amazing. it has been amazing to show we
are in this together. workers know they are being paid starvation wages. they know their livelihoods are at stake. [indiscernible] kristen: why do you suppose the first successful effort was here in santa cruz? are there any particular center of this effort -- particulars that drove the effort? joe: i am a uc santa cruz student. we are organizing because we know the value of labor. at most stores, students led the effort and will continue leading the effort to organize starbucks across california and the nation. kristen: what does this mean now? what do you hope you will get out of it i being union now? what kind of things do you hope to bargain for? joe: over 19 stores in california -- our store has [indiscernible]
but also there has been a lot of security issues at that store. there has been a lot of safety concerns. when it comes down to it, people need to realize that workers are fighting for everything. we are fighting for our livelihoods, for workers rights across the state and we will have the bargaining power against starbucks, a multibillion-dollar corporation. kristen: have you felt that wages have already been on the increase due to the labor shortage we have seen? even without a union? joe: yes. there have been modest increases across starbucks. even recently, -- announced they would be increasing benefits and wages at non-organizing stores. it is devastating to see how that is affected not only the partners who are organizing, but people who want to support us. it is clearly a unionbusting tackett -- tactic. kristen: talk a little more
about what you mean by unionbusting. has starbucks not been supportive? can't they still fight this now that you have passed the vote? joe: starbucks still is unionbusting. they are discriminate lee firing partners across the nation. luckily that has not happened in california yet but it is clear starbucks is not on our side. they could have voluntarily chosen to recognize the union but instead they delay as much as possible. it is devastating to see how workers are being affected. kristen: we will have to seek out starbucks' response for -- response. what percentage of starbucks is unionized right now? joe: when it comes out of it, we are organizing workers. it is very clear we have -- all of these stores -- when it comes down to the actual methods of
organizing, it is partner to partner. workers are finally realizing they have power and young people are recognizing that. as we -- fighting against corporations, we will continue winning. kristen: this is interesting, you talked about young people being the ones to drive this, the folks who work at starbucks. you grew up in a time when the gig economy halted the growth of unions nationwide them aright? recently, there have been notable places that unionized including amazon warehouses. do think the tide has changed? joe: i think it has. young people are recognizing that if you work at a bad job, do not quit, organize. unions not only have power at amazon and walmart and all these other labor victories that are pushing forward our movement, we are going to continue fighting.
our generation should be known as jen--- gen-u for our unionizing. kristen: [indiscernible] joe: there's two stories happening in l.a. county. there is the long beach store and the rally is picking up. it is great to see how workers are recognizing that they do not have to work at really bad workplaces. they can change their working conditions for the better. kristen: i did want to ask, other than giving you a living wage and better conditions, why do you think starbucks customers who just want coffee, might want to consider whether or not to support this effort?
>> 70% of starbucks workers support the organizing efforts because a lot of them are union members. a lot of them know the labor movement is needed to fix a lot of problems in this country. that comes out to not only politics, but anything that is really affecting workers. obviously there's multiple things happening right now with abortion rights and there's a lot of things happening that are wrong. workers need to stand up and fight against that. kristen: joe thompson, labor organizer. congratulations on the successful votes. take care. joe: thank you. kristen:
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feeling hopeless if you are trying to buy a home. chief economist darrell fairweather joins us to discuss the market. thank you for your time. how hard is it right now to afford a home in the bay area? >> it is really hard. it is getting easier and a sense because there is less competition, but mortgage rates are so high that homes are becoming less affordable. it is not like buyers are feeling like they are better off, it is still tough. kristen: not only have rates started to climb after being stagnant for a while, home prices have actually defied conventional logic during the pandemic and really jumped. talk about why that was. >> the bay area was actually a place that had one of the weaker markets out of the entire country. there has been so much demand for housing. millennials are entering homebuying age, they want a place of their own. that is true everywhere,
including the bay area. that increase in demand is matched up with the stagnant supply. there has not been a lot of development of homes in the area. that is why prices keep climbing even with rates higher. kristen: are there signs any of this is cooling off? >> as rates continue to grow, it is going to put paws on a lot of buyers. things will slow down. we will see homes get fewer offers, homes sell closer to asking price, or below. prices are already so high, it is not going to feel like buyers are better off. kristen: in the bay area, i know what you were saying about the national trend, but what we hear anecdotally is multiple offers, $1 million over asking, all cash offers. that is actually still happening here? >> it is still happening. there are plenty of people who are eager to buy a home and will pull out all the stops to get it.
the number of people who had that kind of money to spend even as prices go up, that is going to dwindle and we are going to see demand slow bible late-summer. kristen: when the interest rate changes by -- half a point, how big a difference does that make in your monthly payment. just so we can wrap our heads around why this is starting to make a difference. >> monthly mortgage payments are about 40% higher than they were this time last year. that is a huge increase. kristen: it is indeed. if that is the case, what is happening? are people buying more lower end homes? condos instead of houses? are people going to rentals? >> the rental market is also quite tough. many people are finding a way to stretch their budgets, buying a home within their budget by moving to somewhere more
affordable. like say from san francisco to oakland, or to the outer suburbs. everyone is reevaluating how to find a home within their budget. kristen: the rental market is also tough. it's not like there is an inverse relationship? >> sometimes when home prices go up, there is more demand for rentals. but what is more going on right now is there is just inflation everywhere. whether it is rent, grocery, gasoline, everything is going up and that includes rentals. kristen: what is your best guess as to when things will change so that somebody sitting on the sidelines might be able to get in? >> i think the housing market is going to slow. but i do not think prices are going to go down. they might go down a little bit, but not enough to make it feel like things are truly more affordable. the only way to make housing more affordable is to build more. the bay area has a big hole to
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kristen: a new poll was released by our media partners that shows the district attorney will have an uphill fight to keep his job. 57% of those surveyed say they plan to vote yes on the recall. 22% plan to vote no. a sizable 21% say they still do not know how they will vote. the poll surveyed 1000 registered voters in san francisco. this comes four weeks after the
recall election of the district attorney. today he sat down with this rights for an interview. he said recalling him would hurt the city, not help. >> i am responsible for fighting as hard as i can every day to make the city safer. i am proud of the work we have done and i am proud of the work we have ahead. the recall will undermine the work my office has been doing and will destabilize the district attorney's office. it will make the work we have done on projects like operation autopilot that just yesterday resulted in a massive bust of the auto burglary fencing operation unable to continue. it will detract and destabilize law enforcement in a moment when our city desperately needs strength and purpose. that is what i am trying to bring every day. kristen: they talked about a whole range of things. you can see more of the interview today on abc7news at 5:00 and 6:00. thank you for joining us today on this interactive show. we will be here every weekday at
3:00 on air and on live stream, answering your questions. tonight, breaking news as we come on the air. the passenger jet off the runway in houston. the united airlines flight at bush airport. what pilots reported just beforehand. emergency crews rushing to the scene. the abortion showdown on capitol hill. the democrats efforts to start a process to protect roe versus wade to make it federal law fail. senate republicans blocking the vote. the democratic senator joining them. rachel scott live on the t horf that killed 98 people. tonight, nearly $1 billion for families of the victims and survivors. the judge appearing stunned by the number. what the judge said. the newly released 9d 11 call tonight. you can hear the capital murder suspect and that former corrections officer
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