Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley (2nd District) released the following statement in response to Chairman Do and Vice Chairman Chaffee’s decision to prevent county health officials from participating in my daily COVID-19 updates (their statement).
“Last night, I learned that Chairman Do and Vice Chair Chaffee directed Orange County Health Care Agency staff to stop participating in my regular COVID-19 updates. The pandemic is not over, and the community deserves timely information about how to protect themselves and their loved ones. With Labor Day approaching, I was looking forward to hearing from our health officials about the current COVID trends in Orange County and how community members could stay safe this holiday weekend while still sharing time with family and friends.”
“I find it concerning that some view transparency as an abuse of power. As COVID-19 cases surged in August, I began holding regular virtual COVID-19 updates to help fill the information void due to the county’s lack of public engagement. Since December 2020, the county has not held a public COVID-19 briefing. In July, the county removed the COVID-19 item from our Board meeting agendas, which was the only opportunity available to publicly ask our health officials questions on behalf of Orange County residents. We have obligation to inform and educate the community about this ongoing public health crisis.”
“These virtual briefings with county health officers and other experts have helped disseminate accurate health information, debunk myths, and answer questions from community members. Despite some of my colleagues’ belief that the county has provided the information, it has not always been widely accessible or easily interpreted by the general public.”
“Now is not the time for politics to get in the way of public health. I encourage my colleagues to reverse their directive and join me in sharing information for the benefit of the Orange County residents that we have the privilege to serve.”
“I will never stop doing my best to inform the public about this public health crisis. Orange County residents deserve accurate information. That is how we will finally end this pandemic and get back to living our best lives.”