Some OC supervisors are muzzling public health info on COVID

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COVID-19 patient Brian Parisi, 53, from Orange County, is treated by staff in the ICU at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, U.S. July 23, 2021. Photo by Omar Younis/Reuters.

Some of the Orange County supervisors are going head-to-head about how officials should be delivering public updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months ago, Orange County officials decided that they would discontinue the public information briefings. Then a few weeks ago, OC Supervisor Katrina Foley started hosting weekly town halls on Zoom, where public health staff members answered questions and contextualized the information.

But last week, Supervisors Andrew Do and Doug Chaffee issued a “gag order” that bars public health officials from answering questions or updating locals at these town halls. Instead, the Board of Supervisors are hosting a weekly call with only journalists, who can then share COVID updates in their news coverage.

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