August 17, 2020

Thank you GLAD for Editing this Video!


Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  For questions, comments, and feedback, please email  Thank you!


VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Deaf Interpreter, Romduol Ngov, a Khmer genderfluid person with light skin and black hair, wearing a dark blue short sleeve shirt, sitting in front of a black background, looking at the camera



DEAF INTERPRETER: Hello my name is Romdoul and I will interpret the August 19th press conference for Governor Newsom.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: [top corner] Governor Newsom in a suit and tie, standing in front of American and California state flags, looking at the camera with White Text: Governor Newsom, August 19, 2020. [bottom image] WHITE TEXT: This video made possible with the support of: below White text is the GLAD logo in green/blue. GLAD block letters, above is GLAD in fingerspelled white font and next to GLAD is Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: There are three things I want to go over and they are the wildfires we’ve been experiencing, PG&E, and Coronavirus.

WHITE TEXT: Bullet point list:  “Wildfires, PG & E: Electricity, COVID-19”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: We have been going through a heatwave lately and the entire west coast, including Washington, Oregon, and California have been affected. The California Death Valley toppled records with 130 degrees! it is incredibly hot because of this and more we have decided to declare a state of emergency.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Yellow triangle alert with a high thermometer in the middle

GOVERNOR NEWSOM: We have had a long-standing state of emergency because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but now we are adding a second state of emergency due to the wildfires.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Wildfire image smoky/orange/black background with yellow block text “California State of Emergency”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: You may feel concerned about one big problem after another, and your concerns are perfectly understandable. Allow me to address those concerns. We have been investigating and as of yesterday, August 18, we counted nearly 6,800 fires in California. Yes, that is a large number of wildfires. At this time last year, August 18, 2019, we had around 4,000 wildfires and now we have 6,800 burnings. That is a significant increase that many of us are not comfortable with. Some of you have expressed concerns that the state of California is not doing enough to deal with this issue and I want to assure you that we have several plans in place and we are ready to respond to fires when they happen. We also investigate how some fires become so large and the wind is a factor. Strong winds have the power to spread fires much more quickly than little to no wind. The stronger the wind, the larger the fire can become. Another factor is lightning. Our experts concluded that 360-370 of the recent wildfires were caused by lightning. Admittedly, we feel this number is a bit low because there were approximately 10,800 instances of lightning, but only 360 fires caused? I would like to have more concrete answers for you, but it is difficult to investigate due to the poor air quality, smoke, and fires. We need to hold off on investigating how the fires started until conditions improve and the fires are under control. Sometimes it is caused by a combination of dry vegetation and extreme heat, other times lightning, sometimes it is unintentionally caused by people’s carelessness, an object that gets so hot it explodes, or any number of things can cause fires. We intended to investigate further and I will keep you posted.  I want to assure you that the state of California has fiscally planned for this and we are operating within our budget. We have the money and resources to deal with these statewide issues. Earlier I talked about how we have several plans in place and we’ve also requested federal funds for the wildfires. We have separate budgets for dealing with the wildfire crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. Another strategy we’ve adopted is employing around 830 temporary firefighters. This is in addition to our full-time permanently employed firefighters. The temporary firefighters work only during times like this. When the wildfires are contained and under control, these temporary firefighters go back to their normal routines. Some of them may want to continue working as full-time firefighters, and if that’s the case, they need to talk with their local fire chief. These 830 temporary hires are working very hard alongside our permanent firefighters to contain these fires.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of a team of firefighters in full gear, gloved hands on each others’ shoulders, walking in a line, looking away from the camera.


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: Not only that but three of our neighboring states have sent resources to support us in our time of need. I want to thank Arizona, Nevada, and Texas for their support! I also want to thank the military for coming to our aid and helping our people. In addition to all of that, we have also reached out to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) and asked for their assistance in containing the wildfires. All of the resources and support that I just covered are why I am confident we are capable and will manage this crisis well. For example, the wildfires in Riverside and Los Angeles were successfully contained and conditions have improved. We are now turning our focus to Napa and Sonoma and around 23 other large fires. We are working very hard to suppress the fires in those areas.  Please try not to worry too much because we have all the resources we need. All I ask you to do is pay close attention to the news and if they issue an evacuation order, please obey and leave the area! Make sure you have an emergency bag packed and ready to go. Include things like food, drinks, clothes, any other items you may need so that if you are ordered to evacuate, no time will be wasted. Often shelter will be provided in hotels but you can also reach out to friends and family and find a safe place outside of the evacuation zone. That concludes the wildfire portion and now onto the PG&E portion of the press conference.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Close up picture of a #2 pencil on paper with words “Emergency Checklist”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM:  First of all, a very big thank you to all of you! The citizens of California did an excellent job following our recommendations! You turned off your electricity between the hours of 3 pm-9 pm. You turned off your lights, television, ovens, all sorts of energy-consuming items were turned off when not used. So I am very pleased to tell you that we will not be doing power outages at this time! Thank you again for doing your part to save energy!

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Flex Alert logo: lime green background with a white hand turning off power switch. Below image is White Text “3-9 PM”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: In some areas, some people have experienced unannounced power outages, happening without any warning. I want you to know we’re looking into why these outages happened, and we will fix the issues to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We’re very sorry about this.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Picture of a blue sky and electrical power towers with white text across the middle  “Power Outage”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: I have one tiny request to ask of you. Tomorrow, August 20, please turn off items you are not using between the hours of 2 pm-9 pm.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Flex Alert logo with lime green background with a white hand turning off power switch. The below image is White Text “3-9 PM” which is crossed out with a red line. Under that, new words appear in white text:  “2 – 9 PM”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: We just need to get through one more day together and then I will give an updated report on any changes we need to make. Because of your efforts, we now have a surplus of energy that can be used in case of emergencies. I know we are all having a tough time during this heatwave and it can be very tempting to turn down your A/C to 60 and blast cold air but I urge you to not do that. Between 2 pm-9 pm, please limit yourselves to a temperature of 78 degrees.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Clip art of White Square with an abstract heat/AC dial on it. Under the image is White Text: > 78 degrees and below that is “if health permits”


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: After 9 pm, you may lower the temperature if you so wish. Try your best to do this for one more day because it does so much to help others in California. I want to take a minute to express gratitude to the businesses in California who complied with our request. Many businesses turned off things they did not need! Thank you! The Navy, for example, decided to use the power supply on their boats to charge cars and other items instead of plugging into our state energy. That was a great idea! Thanks! Please continue to do your part in reducing power consumption.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: Orange Text Title on a dark blue background: 40 Counties on Monitoring List for 3+ Days. White Text List on a dark blue background: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: You just saw a list of the 40 California counties that are on our coronavirus watchlist. We are keeping a close eye on these counties and making sure they’re being careful. Those 40 counties have shown improvement! I’m happy about that. Keep up the good work! They’re wearing their masks, washing their hands, and social distancing.


IMAGE DESCRIPTION: White rectangle. Image of hands with soap “Wash”; the image of a person with mask “Cover”, the image of cleaning bottle “Clean”, the image of a person with arrow “6 Feet”. At the bottom, orange bar with “” in white text.


GOVERNOR NEWSOM: If they continue to do that, our watchlist of 40 counties will drop to zero! That’s a beautiful number and it’s what we want to see. If a county is removed from under our watchful eye, they will be able to operate independently again and they will have earned our trust because we will know that the residents of those counties are following instructions by wearing masks, washing hands, staying 6 feet apart and that they will continue to do so until the coronavirus pandemic is no longer a concern. Again, wonderful job! Don’t stop! Thank you!




Disclaimer: This transcript is a back-translation of the Latent Interpretation and is not intended to be a verbatim reproduction of the original message.  For questions, comments, and feedback, please email  Thank you!