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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It is a milestone moment in the California battle against the coronavirus. September 19 marks six months since the state’s economic shutdown.

CBS13’s Steve Large met up with a man he first interviewed in those first days of the shutdown to see how he’s doing.

“I felt like I talked to you yesterday,” Sacramento’s Adam Riggins said.

Riggins’s world has been more like a whirlwind.

“It’s wild,” Riggins said.

Back in March, CBS13 cameras showed Riggins opening his mortgage bill the day after he was laid off from his bartending job, which was shut down over COVID-19 concerns.

READ MORE FROM THE MARCH 25, INTERVIEW: California Announces 90-Day Waiver For Mortgage Payments

“You know, I’ve broke my back to get this place, and I don’t want to lose it over this,” Riggins said in March.

Today he still has the home.

“Holding onto the home has been number one,” Riggins said.

He did change careers so he could make the mortgage payments. He now does exterior home design.

“Absolutely, this is totally out of my wheelhouse,” Riggins said. “So now I’m doing pavers, concrete and backyard design during the week.”

READ: CDC Director: Face Masks Will Stop Coronavirus Better Than Vaccine; Experts Weigh In

UC Davis’s Associate Dean for Public Health Sciences Doctor Brad Pollock says at this six-month mark, a coronavirus review might show some missteps of back and forth business closures and reopenings, however, vaccine research has never been better.

“It is unheard of prior to this epidemic, to be talking about going to a vaccine trial that you’re running in four months or five months,” Dr. Pollock said. “And we hope we’ll have a good vaccine identified early of next year.”

“We’re all hoping,” Riggins said.

A coronavirus milestone moment, looking back at the past six months, and cautiously ahead to the future.

“Don’t give up,” Riggins said.

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More than 150 restaurant owners endorse Biden, citing Trumps COVID-19 response

More than 150 restaurant owners and chefs on Thursday released a joint letter announcing their support for Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Hillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns Fox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio MORE, arguing that President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE “has failed the restaurant industry” in his responses to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The endorsement comes as the food industry continues to face the impacts of COVID-19 across the country, with Yelp reporting last week that approximately 60 percent of the restaurants on its platform have been forced to permanently close since the start of the pandemic. 

Thursday’s letter, titled “Restaurants for Biden,” cites analysis from the National Restaurant Association that “three decades of restaurant jobs were lost during the national shutdown in March and April,” asserting that the continued strains on restaurants could be tied to Trump’s delayed responses to the pandemic. 

“Throughout the crisis, the restaurant industry has begged this administration for support,” the group wrote in the letter. “We have pleaded with officials to fix the PPP program, recognize the oncoming tsunami of restaurant closings that we are now starting to see and respond with a plan.”

“Yet, at every turn, the President has mishandled the response,” the group continued. “He has downplayed our struggles, refuted the idea that restaurants will suffer because they rely on social interaction and insisted there were no personal protective equipment shortages that are required to keep restaurant staff safe.” 

The owners and chefs wrote in the letter that Biden “would take the immediate steps needed to solve the COVID crisis and support America’s small businesses and restaurants in our recovery.” 

In a press release responding to the endorsement, the Biden campaign highlighted that the announcement came during National Small Business Week, adding that Trump’s response to COVID-19 has been “devastating” for “America’s small businesses, particularly those run by people of color.”

The campaign said in the statement that it would be “hosting dozens of small business events, launching ads in key battleground states featuring entrepreneurs, and working with the new Small Business & Entrepreneurs Advisory Council to mobilize the small business community.” 

Trump has repeatedly faced criticism from Democrats for not taking more direct actions in the early months of the pandemic, especially after journalist Bob Woodward released tapes that showed the president admitted in a March interview to downplaying the threat of COVID-19 in order to not “create a panic.” 

Last week, Trump announced that he would be adding $13 billion in aid for farmers who have been financially impacted by the pandemic as part of his appeal to supporters in rural areas of the country. This financial support came in addition to the $19 billion given to farmers in April by the Department of Agriculture as part of the CARES Act.

Tags Yelp National Restaurant Association Joe Biden Donald Trump Bob Woodward 2020 Biden campaign coronavirus covid-19 restaurant closures CARES Act 2020 Trump campaign 2020 Coronavirus 2020 campaign 2020 endorsements

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