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COVID-19 AMA: The End Of California’s Covid Emergency, Division Over Origins Of The Covid Virus And More

Published March 1, 2023 at 8:49 AM PST
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images
A research assistant prepares a PCR reaction for polio at a lab at Queens College on August 25, 2022, in New York City.

COVID-19 AMA: The End Of California’s Covid Emergency, Division Over Origins Of The Covid Virus And More

COVID State Ends 3.1.23

California’s covid emergency officially ended yesterday. It allowed Gov. Gavin Newsom to enact almost 600 pandemic-related state executive orders suspending or changing laws to fight the virus. The emergency declaration helped California hospitals get through huge numbers of patients by permitting facilities to temporarily expand treatment spaces (including in hospital gift shops) and allowed hospital administrators to hire workers from out of state to cope with staffing shortages. The sunsetting of the emergency declaration reflects a shift in how officials are approaching the pandemic. We haven’t seen the winter spike this season as in years past. Also, cases and hospitalizations are stable.However, three years later, the origins of the covid-19 virus is still in question. Early in the pandemic, scientists traced the Covid-19 virus back to a wet market in Wuhan, China. Now, U.S Energy Department officials say that the virus most likely emerged from a lab leak.

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at the UCSF Medical Center.

Today's Topics Include:

Read the full LAist story here.

How Is AI Technology Being Implemented In K-12 Classrooms?

AI In Classrooms 3.1.23

Artificial intelligence is making gains in the world with the recent release of Microsoft's Bing Chatbot and OpenAI's chatbot known as ChatGPT. ChatGPT is capable of revising and even generating essays, which has many raising their eyebrows as the technology makes its way into educational settings and classrooms. Some instructors worry students will cheat or plagiarize by using the software, but others say it's time to embrace AI as the future. It's a complex issue. Joining to discuss the future of AI in classrooms is Mark Warschauer, professor of education and informatics and director of the Digital Learning Lab at UC Irvine, Stephen AguiIar, assistant professor of education at USC, and Amy Eguchi, associate teaching professor of Computer Science Education at UC San Diego.

As Companies Feel Pressure To Make A Speedy Shift To Electric Vehicles, What's Their Path To Future Infrastructure?

Auto Industry EV Shift 3.1.23

California’s mandate for the sale of only new electric vehicles has set a standard for how car manufacturing companies are working within one of the largest economies in the world, and although the impact isn’t clear, it does show a trend that the automotive industry is coming to terms with. As of now, Tesla has been the most noted leader in this industry, with their vehicles and charging stations serving as an example of what's to come. So much so that a state bill, CA Assembly Bill 591, would require Tesla to allow other manufactured EVs use its charging stations. So what does the current corporate investment in EVs look like and what’s the timeline for its necessary expansion?

Today on AirTalk, we discuss this with Gil Tal, director of UC Davis’s  Plug-In, Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center, and K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior vice president of research and chief innovation officer at the Center for Automotive Research.

Hemp Is A Viable Substitute For Sustainable Building – But Is The Supply Chain Ready For It?

Hemp Hype 3.1.23

Back in 2018, the House and Senate passed a $867 billion farm bill legalizing hemp production. The bill was groundbreaking because it removed hemp, which is defined as cannabis, from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This decision, in turn, allowed farmers to resume growing a plant that has, as experts and hemp enthusiasts are quick to note, thousands of uses. From biofuel to feedstuff for animal agriculture, hemp has a variety of uses that have long been known but not allowed. Most recently, hemp is gaining traction as a viable building material for sustainable construction. But can the supply chain keep up with the rising demand for hemp products? Joining us today on AirTalk to talk about TKTK is Jean Lotus, publisher of Hemp Build Magazine and secretary of the US Hemp Building Association, Greg Wilson, founder of HempWood, a building materials supplier based in Kentucky, and Rachel Berry, founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association, a women-led benefit corporation and grassroots membership organization

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