Is the daughter of Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer the one calling the shots for indoor mask mandates in LA County?
Wednesday, RedState.comreported that Ferrer’s daughter, Kaitlin Barnes, did not disclose any conflicts of interest in a study on mask mandates that she co-authored.
Barnes, like Ferrer, has no medical degree.
The study, published in August 2021showed that masking and other mitigation efforts in Los Angeles County schools were “very effective” in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and were written by Barnes and four other authors, but Barnes’s relationship with his mother was never disclosed – although Ferrer was listed in the acknowledgments section of the study, according to the RedState.com article.
On Thursday, Ferrer denied there were any conflicts of interest with the study.
“I am not an author of this study. I have nothing to do with this study. I have not reviewed this study. I actually didn’t see this study until recently,” Ferrer said in an interview with FOXLA. “The people who fill out the conflict of interest forms are the people who worked on the study, who filled out those conflict of interest forms.”
Ferrer added that she had “nothing to do with the study.”
“I don’t have any family members who work in the Department of Public Health. I do not supervise any family members who do work-related work,” she said. “I have no interest or ability to control the work of my family members since they do not work for me or in this department at all. So there is no conflict of interest here.
Earlier this month, Ferrer threatened to bring back the indoor mask mandate, including in schools in Santa Clarita, starting Friday, July 29, prompting outrage from doctors, schools and communities. county chiefs.
“Ferrer doesn’t use any science or facts,” said William S. Hart Union High School District board member Joe Messina. “There are now doctors at UCLA and around the county saying it’s not right.”
Despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the county, doctors at LAC+USC Medical Center said they were not overwhelmed by the virus.
Last week, doctors at LAC+USC reported that 30 patients had COVID-19 in their hospital, however, only three patients were admitted due to complications from the virus, and none were in intensive care.
“Our local policies must align with state COVID-19 public health policies,” said County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the county’s Fifth District, which includes Santa Clarita. “I remain opposed to the imposition of county-mandated masking mandates in educational institutions. The county’s masking mandate lacks rigor and enforcement. Requiring children in our county to wear masks is an unrealistic policy that negatively impacts their healthy social-emotional development and learning. At this point, it does more harm than good.
Julie Hamill, an attorney representing the Los Angeles County Parents Alliance, sent a letter to the LA County Board of Supervisors warning that if the mask mandate returns for LA school children, she plans to file a lawsuit, KTLA reported Thursday.
Hamill asks the supervisors to step in and take power away from Ferrer.
“They can put a check on Dr. Ferrer’s power. They are not required to implement the policies she recommends,” Hamill told KTLA.
Dr. Birx, Trump’s COVID adviser recently published a book and said that wearing masks is unnecessary and is a way to simply control the public.
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