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California and New York had about the same number of coronavirus cases after week one.
Fast forward to today and New York has topped 140,000 cases and nearly 6,000 deaths. While California has seen fewer than 18,000 cases and about 450 deaths.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was the first to lock his state down. He also distributed more than 41 million N95 masks - nearly 1 million from the national stockpile, KTLA reports.
"When we write this history and look at the tens of thousands of lives in California that will have been spared, I think there will be lots of factors that went into it," said Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
"The most important was that leaders of all types -- whether they were in government or in businesses -- took it seriously, believed that this was a real risk and did the right thing early."
Newsom also just placed an order for another 200 million masks this week - 75% will be N95.
California also has a stockpile of ventilators - so many that California is now sending them to other states.
"When you act early, just as the curve is taking off, you can slow things down. That's what we did," public health officer Dr. Sara Cody said Wednesday. "Early action is also extraordinarily disruptive, both socially and economically. ... If you wait and take action later, you get the same social and economic disruption -- you get all those harms -- but you don't get as much benefit."
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