The Issue Is: Gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona

This week, as uncertainty rises in the face of new coronavirus surges, Elex Michaelson is joined on "The Issue Is" by radio host turned Gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder and US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to talk the future of masking, schools, California and more.



BACKGROUND: This week, as the filing deadline approached, longtime radio host Larry Elder threw his hat into the ring, declaring his candidacy for California Governor, hoping to unseat Governor Newsom in the September recall election. Elder made his case to California voters.

ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I've got common sense. I've got good judgment, something sadly lacking in Sacramento, I've been on radio for 30 years, I've been writing columns for 30 years... I've been talking about solutions to these problems of crime, and homelessness, and and the rising cost of living in California, and I think I can make the case for Joe and Joan Sixpack who've left California and brought their Democrat vote with them, to realize why they're leaving - the connection between the crime and the left wing policies, the connection between the rising cost of homes and left wing policies - and I think I can make that case better than almost anybody else can…"



BACKGROUND: This week, Governor Newsom signed his $100 billion "California Comeback" plan. Within that plan, which includes stimulus checks for some two-thirds of the state, and $5.2 billion in rent relief, is set aside an additional $12 billion to combat the state’s growing homeless problem. That, as the number of homeless in the Golden State has ballooned to more than 160,000 based on January 2020 data.

ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "What I can realistically get done is to declare a statewide emergency for homelessness, and that way I can suspend CEQA, the environmental act that has been used to stop virtually any kind of project in this state, because once you get people self-sufficient to the degree that you can, the homeless people, where are they going to live? There are no cheap apartments in California, no cheap, low-cost housing, because developers have been disincentivized to do that. And that's because of the Environmental Quality Act called CEQA.... This is ridiculous. That's why we don't have low-cost housing in California, that's why so many young people are getting out of dodge and going other places, not realizing the connection between the environmental policies that have been pursued by the last several decades by this left wing legislature and why they're leaving and going to Tennessee and Florida and Texas…."



BACKGROUND: This week, as COVID cases continued to rise in Los Angeles, hitting more than 1,000 new daily infections for a seven-day period, the county’s public health department announced the reinstatement of masking mandates. As of Friday, California had yet to follow suit statewide. While the state is yet to reinstate masking mandates for the entire population, come fall they will continue to mandate that students mask up in the classroom, a policy that the CDC says is not necessary if students and teachers are vaccinated.

ELDER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's optional. If a business wants to have a policy that you have to wear a mask when you come in, that's up to that business. But I am not going to tell, let alone order businesses, the way this guy is going to do to wear a mask. It's also anti-science. The CDC said under certain precautions, schools could have opened up, he shut them down because the teachers were still getting fully paid and they didn't want to go back to work. A lot of Black and Brown parents went to the streets demanding that the schools open up, and what did the head of the largest affiliate, the United Teachers of Los Angeles, say - it was an effort on the part of white nationalists to impose their white supremacist views on us. It's ridiculous…"

CARDONA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's a lot easier to close schools than it is to open schools. You know, I have complete confidence in the educators and the leaders of the local districts to make the best decisions. Context matters, right, what's happening in one community may not be happening in another community, so it's really important that they're able to put in those mitigation strategies that not only help reduce the spread, but build confidence in returning to school. That's critically important... We have COVID fatigue, we're ready to get going, I get that, but as a father, I also want to make sure that my children are safe, and if in the communities that are asking parents and students to wear mask, and educators, they're doing it because they're partnering with their health department and the health experts to make sure that the schools are safe for all…"



BACKGROUND: To date, coronavirus vaccines have been approved by the FDA for emergency use for those twelve years and older. Once the FDA gives full approval to the vaccine for children of all ages, should all students be required to get vaccinated?

CARDONA’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I'll leave the decision on whether to require it to the health experts, because they know whether or not it's something that should be required. But I'll tell you, we've seen across the country, when you're vaccinated, it's a safer community, there's less spread, there's less illness. Get vaccinated... we worked really closely with CDC and the Health and Human Services at the federal level, I rely on them for the science and for the health guidance, and our job is to quickly translate it into what it means for our schools…"

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to

Host Elex Michaelson also co-anchors FOX 11 News weeknights at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. with Christine Devine. He co-hosts the "FOX 11 Special Report" with Marla Tellez weeknights at 7 p.m.