LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County’s public health director denies that plans for reopening school campuses amid the coronavirus pandemic are politically linked to the upcoming election.
“It had nothing to do with the election per se, as much as it had to do with — we need about six weeks of implementation for the school openings that are going to be happening so that we can have a lot of assessment data that will help guide and inform any decisions we make,” Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors. ” … I apologize for any confusion that I may have caused by referencing the elections in early November.”
Ferrer sparked a spate of social-media conspiracy theories with comments she made in a conference call last week with local education officials, telling them schools are unlikely to reopen for in-person learning “until after the election” on Nov. 3.
“We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving to either tier two or to reopening our K-through-12 schools at least during, at least until after the election, after, you know, in early November,” Ferrer said on the call, a recording of which was first obtained and aired by KFI radio. “Like, when we just look at the timing of everything, it seems to us the more realistic approach to this would be to think that we’re going to be where we are now … until we’re done with the election.”
The comments quickly drew online criticism contending her comments prove the suggestion the coronavirus is being used as a political weapon to harm President Donald Trump‘s reelection chances.
Ferrer insisted, however, that her reference to the election was only describing a general time frame of early November in response to a question about the timing of potential additional school openings.
Earlier this month, the county agreed to allow in-person instruction for some students in kindergarten through 12th grade, but only for small groups of students with individualized learning plans, students requiring instruction for English as a second language and students needing other “specialized in-school services.”
Ferrer said Monday that 59 schools had submitted plans to offer such in-person instruction, and about half of them were likely to be operating by this week.
She said public health officials would be working with each school to ensure they are meeting all required safety protocols. All other schools remain closed for in-person learning throughout the county due to the virus.
Speaking to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Ferrer said gauging how successful the schools are in preventing a growing number of cases will be key to the county’s decision whether to open schools more broadly.
One of the most effective ways of limiting the spread of the virus among children has been to keep them in small groups to keep the virus from spreading quickly throughout an entire school, Ferrer said.
She added that not enough attention has been given to recent reports that more than half a million American children — including more than 25,000 in Los Angeles County — have tested positive for COVID-19, despite the fact children are tested at lower rates than adults.
Though the vast majority of children do not get seriously ill, hundreds of L.A. County children have been hospitalized with COVID-19, she said, adding that even those without symptoms can spread the infection to other children and adults.
The county’s health services director, Dr. Christina Ghaly, who runs the county’s hospital system and coronavirus testing, said the rate of testing has fallen.
“There continue to be literally thousands of unfilled appointments,” Ghaly told the Board of Supervisors. “We are concerned by the overall decline of people seeking testing throughout the county.”
Recent poor air quality and extreme heat led to temporary closures of some testing centers, and may have also deterred people from getting tested.
Ferrer said Monday the county was unlikely to consider any more business reopenings before the end of September so officials can see if the recent Labor Day holiday leads to spikes in infections seen after the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends.
On Tuesday, the county reported 47 more coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the countywide total since the start of the pandemic to 6,274. The county also announced 474 new cases, pushing the overall total to 255,123. County officials noted that the unusually low daily case number reflects the recent reduced availability of testing due to the heat and air quality.
A total of 772 people were hospitalized due to the virus as of Tuesday.
16 comments for "LA County Health Director: No link between school reopenings and election"
… a generalist, an administrator, Barbara Ferrer knows more about election rigging, than she ever did, virology –
Barbara Ferrer and Donald Trump should hook up. Neither one knows anything about virology.
Know when to hold them know when to fold them says
Excellent point Reform. Add Rex to the list and you have three of a kind that beats a full house.
Denise in 93536 says
Painfully evident, that most any garden variety dimwit Democrat would expect of a sitting president to command top-down expertise, on the topic of virology. We could never expect of any archetypal Democrat to ascertain, that Barbara Ferrer’s ought to be somewhat more knowledgeable on the subject of virology than she is, election rigging.
Well, election rigging and the sitting president go hand and hand, but Trump doesn’t listen to any stinking virologist; why? because it doesn’t fit with his program of deception.
She does seem to know a little more than she should, about election rigging.
What now? says
If I am not mistaken, her priority in her job title is to help solve the homeless issues in L.A. She is not a medical doctor, just a fixture for the city and has not even put a dent on solving the homeless issue. I don’t believe in her death threat claims either. Most importantly. L.A. could have picked a healthy looking person instead of a sickly looking one.
They have zero credibility. These people could tell me the Sun rises in the East and I wouldn’t believe them.
The public school system is irretrievably corrupt, it has been this way for decades. If we look at what is going on across America, we can see rolling closures of schools with higher outbreaks, whether states are red or blue. Maybe we can assess the matter and come up with a quality public school system during these challenging times.
This looks like a ”CYA” moment for Ferrer.. I wrote our Supervisor & included the link from her phone call last week.. Hopefully Supv. Barger listened to her constituents. This is ALL about Politics.. Ferrer is appointed by the Board of Supervisors, she’s not ”elected” & has no authority. Yet, she seems to be making the ”One Size Fits All” decisions for the entire L.A. County Schools & when businesses can REOPEN..
Ferrer the fraud…
Other then the statement she made stating a clear and concise link between not opening up the schools/economy Before the outcome of the election.
Damage control, typical leftist lies
Typical leftist lies; typical rightist lies. Depends on what side you’re on, and what lies you want to believe. 99.9% of the people are being deceived, because they want to believe the lie that suits them.
AV Illegal says
Election Infection. The vaccine will come in the form of an election.
Words Matter says
Of course there isn’t any link between the school openings and the elections even though you said it twice. Just like when Rex says things like carry guns illegally and shoot homeless people if they attack you, or birdie sounds on the BLVD reduce crime, or a mentally ill person shot a sheriff’s deputy even though the deputy wasn’t shot.