For those who have been lucky enough to keep their jobs during coronavirus these past five months, they still struggle to maneuver through what their position looks like during a pandemic. But what about those whose jobs are directly related to a pandemic? Turns out the very people who are supposed to figure out how to keep us safe and healthy during a pandemic are leaving their positions in drones.
According to the Associated Press, “dozens of state and local public health officials around the U.S. have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak.” It is a consequence of the individuals being “vilified, threatened with violence and in some cases suffering from burnout” which is “a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns, and infection data have become.”
On Sunday California’s public health director, Dr. Sonia Angell “quit without explanation following a technical glitch that caused a delay in reporting virus test results – information used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools” notes the AP.
Just last week, New York City’s health commissioner was replaced “after months of friction with the Police Department and City Hall.” CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, Lori Tremmel Freeman, says the “departures are making a bad situation worse.” “We’re moving at breakneck speed here to stop a pandemic, and you can’t afford to hit the pause button and say, ‘We’re going to change the leadership around here and we’ll get back to you after we hire somebody,” said Freeman.
Freeman stated the firings and resignations have in large part been due to conflicts over mask orders or social distancing shutdowns. “It’s not a health divide; it’s a political divide,” said Freeman, referring to those who argue that masks and social distancing are unnecessary. In what is being described as a pressure-cooker environment, “Public health leaders from Dr. Anthony Fauci down to officials in small communities have reported death threats and intimidation.”
“Some have seen their home addresses published or have been attacked on social media” reported the AP. In Ohio, state health director Amy Acton resigned in June after mounting pressure. Acton advised Governor Mike DeWine to shut down schools statewide, and she also shut down the presidential primary in March just “hours before” polls were to open. Acton said Republican lawmakers tried to strip her of her authority and armed protesters showed up at her house.
The Associated Press found that “at least 48 state and local public health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 23 states.” Additionally, that list “has grown by more than 20 people since the AP and KHN started keeping track in June.” KHN, also known as Kaiser Health News, along with the AP, released an analysis finding “since 2010, spending on state public health departments has dropped 16% per capita, and the amount devoted to local health departments has fallen 18%.”
Additionally, “at least 38,000 state and local public health jobs have disappeared since the 2008 recession, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems.” The question is, is this a money problem or a people problem? It doesn’t seem like money will help these individuals put their pride and egos aside and get along better.
Author: Hannity Staff