Senator Richard Pan Talks Threats to Local Health Officers with Contra Costa’s Dr. Chris Farnitano

Seven California county health officers have resigned their posts amid a campaign of harassment and intimidation from fringe activists as they work to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s a disturbing trend taking hold nationwide. A Kaiser Health/Associated Press review found that 27 top health officials across the country have either stepped down or been fired since April.

Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a medical doctor, discussed the issue with Contra Costa’s Dr. Chris Farnitano during Monday’s episode of his “Putting the Public Into Health” podcast. This is the 31st installment in a series that seeks to answer the most pressing questions about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Farnitano is not one of the seven health officers who has resigned. He credits “tremendous support” from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors with helping him stay on board. But Farnitano has been subjected to personal attacks, threats, and protests outside his home (see below).

Many of these threats are coming from the same group of anti-vaccine activists who targeted lawmakers last year. Pan himself was physically assaulted by one of them on a public sidewalk.

You can listen to the 30-minute podcast here. Also follow the podcast Twitter account @PublicIn2Health.


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