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Newsom Nears Pivotal Decision: Should California Try to Reopen Again?



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OAKLAND — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says California is “turning a corner” on the pandemic weeks after locking down various sectors in a desperate bid to thwart a summer surge.

But that puts the Democratic leader at a crossroads. Should California reopen gyms, churches and malls again?

Newsom will face his toughest test as soon as Tuesday when San Diego County is expected to get off the state’s list of coronavirus trouble spots. Not only would the county of 3.3 million become the most populous to shed its watch list status, it features a Republican big city mayor who has been driving hard to reopen businesses in a more politically moderate region — and who may be the GOP’s best hope to challenge Newsom in two years.

“We’re off the watch list, but there’s not a process that currently exists for businesses to get back to work,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told POLITICO in an interview Monday. “We’ve asked before and we’ll ask once again, where does our county go next?”

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