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Can Steve Brandau Use His COVID Diagnosis as Leverage to Get a Vaccine to the County Sooner?



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Following Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau’s positive COVID-19 test, officials announced the temporary closure of offices at the County Hall of Records and directed staff to quarantine.

”Upon learning of the positive test, we took quick and appropriate action per our safety protocols to close our offices and send staff home to protect against any potential spread of the virus,” said chief administrative officer Jean Rousseau.

Brandau spoke with GV Wire℠ after learning he had tested positive for COVID-19.

In a wide ranging interview, one of the main topics that came up was how Brandau could use his diagnosis to affect positive change for Fresno County residents. Just hours before our interview, drug company Astrazeneca announced a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in January.

The county still has millions in CARES Act dollars available and the money must be spent by December, according to Brandau.

Q&A: Vaccine Leverage

GV Wire℠: AstraZeneca just came out today and said they hope to have results of their trials done by either the end of this month or early December in the hopes of having a vaccine out in January. Now, with your COVID-19 diagnosis, will the county make efforts to try and obtain AstraZeneca for members on the board or people in general here?”

Brandau: “Yeah, that’s that’s a good question. It’s probably even higher than my pay grade. So I don’t know that the county you know, I don’t know what the government has planned when it comes to distribution of the of all the cures for COVID-19. And I know there’s two, three, four or five of them that are kind of stage getting ready to come forward. And so it might be that the government through the county, through the state, through the federal government, really does allow people to get those get all of those fixes for free. I don’t know if in that case, I’m glad to be a part of it. I don’t think it’s going to be able to impact my personal COVID-19. So until then, I’m busy taking cough drops and drinking a lot of water. But it’s something we will consider when the time comes for sure.”

Q&A: Cares Act Money

Steve Brandau

“And so maybe there’s some way that we could still help people as they obtain these things (COVID-19 vaccine) with CARES act dollars. And we certainly have tens of millions of dollars left.”Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau

GV Wire℠: “How much CARES Act money is left in the county coffers, and is that something that could be utilized to purchase vaccine as soon as it becomes available to get it out to residents of Fresno County?”

Brandau: “I probably don’t have an up to date answer on how much CARES Act dollars are left. But I do know that we have tens of millions of dollars left. Fresno County got close to one hundred million dollars. The city of Fresno itself got something like $93 million. And Fresno County still have tens of millions of dollars to spend on COVID-19 that we need to spend before December. I don’t think it’s enough to provide everybody, you know, with the antivirus (vaccine). Right. So that’s going to be very expensive, as is the testing. But it’s maybe we can reduce the cost or we could find a way of helping impact people getting the antiviruses (vaccines) as their released. And so maybe there’s some way that we could still help people as they obtain these things with CARES Act dollars. And we certainly have tens of millions of dollars left.”