Monday morning Californians woke up to the news that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s appointed Public Health Director resigned, following the news last week of the epic IT data failure that resulted in the supposed undercounting of COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Sonia Angell was only in the position less than a year before she announced her resignation in an email Sunday to her staff. On Monday, despite being asked by several reporters via phone, Newsom would not disclose if he terminated Angell’s employment, but it was clearly obvious that her departure was related to the data “glitch,” and more likely to overall incompetence.
What was so odd is that Gov. Newsom gave an upbeat press conference last Monday Aug. 3, and announced that COVID cases in the state had declined by 21%. The very next day, Newsom was absent from the podium and Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary, said that the governor’s good news of the 21% decline in COVID “cases” was wrong due to case undercount because of a data “glitch” of the backlogged cases.
The Governor was not seen after last Monday’s press conference when his office revealed the major “glitch” in COVID case data… until this Monday.
The “glitch” supposedly caused up to 295,000 records to be backlogged, but as news reports found, not all of the cases were COVID cases and some will be duplicates, according to Ghaly.
The problem affected the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange, also known as CalREDIE.
And Monday this week, Dr. Angell is out.
It’s not hard to connect some of the dots.
Notably, in Monday’s press conference, Gov. Newsom was asked about Dr. Angell’s “resignation,” implying that she was terminated. Newsom gave the usual disclaimer that he does not discuss personnel issues with the general public… blah, blah, blah.
But Dr. Sonia Angell wasn’t just any state employee – Newsom’s team admitted that she was hired for her social justice activism, despite that it’s been obvious to many practicing physicians she is incompetent. And Dr. Angell was let go or “resigned” right before her scheduled Senate confirmation, coincidentally on Monday.
Dr. Ghaly thanked Dr. Angell for her service and said he appreciated that she was able to “talk and think about ways to close disparities,” and her work the last 7 months of responding to COVID-19. He said “Her smarts around disparities and thinking about inequities” was appreciated, demonstrating language that made it clear she was a social justice warrior, focused on “disparities” and “inequities,” rather than the public health of all California residents.
“We accepted the resignation… appreciated her work… none of this is easy… technology is stubborn…” Newsom said at Monday’s video press conference. He also made note that what he said about Dr. Angell’s departure was all that he was going to say.
Newsom said the backlog was taken care of over the weekend.
Nothing to see here folks. Now move along.
In the broadest sense, a social justice warrior is a person who uses complex serious social, economic and political issues as a way to further their own agenda by claiming they are fighting to “correct a wrong,” according to the Urban Dictionary. Specifically, it is used to refer to people claim to be fighting for social justice but are actually validating their own ego, looking for special treatment, or attention. “Ironically Social justice warriors cause more harm to their causes than good, as they are often ill-informed, are uninterested in discussing issues as they are more interested in being “right,” and attack all who disagree.”
But inquiring minds want to know more. And citizens and taxpayers deserve to know more.
First – why was a social justice warrior appointed to the highest medical position at the California Department of Public Health?
In September 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his appointment of Sonia Angell, MD, MPH as the Director of the California Department of Public Health.
Dr. Angell was a practicing physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University in New York City. Her previous roles included serving as the Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she oversaw the Division of Prevention and Primary Care, as well as serving as the founding director of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control Program. Additionally, Dr. Angell was a Senior Advisor for Global Noncommunicable Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has also been an independent consultant to the Pan American Health Organization.
Dr. Angell served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal and is a graduate of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. She received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and completed her residency at the Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston. Additionally, she received a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School, as well as a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan.
This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $275,650. Angell is a Democrat.
One of the other questions that must be asked is: Why count “cases” – or positive tests – at all? What are the critical metrics? Why isn’t the governor, and his public health officials, focused on hospitalizations and deaths. Because according to the more than 15 physicians, epidemiologists, virologists, and immunologists the Globe has spoken with, the only data that really matters is hospitalizations, ICU cases, and deaths. And these doctors say that the governor and public health officials should only be focusing their efforts on the most vulnerable groups – the elderly, sick, obese and diabetics, and those with other underlying health conditions. Testing the healthy, and making the healthy wear masks on beaches isn’t slowing the spread. Because the spread, in fact, amounts to herd immunity, which is the end goal with a virus.
The only thing the Governor and public health officials have accomplished is destroying the California economy – which perhaps was the goal all along.
TUNE IN NOW. https://t.co/kMjJgK3MWB
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) August 10, 2020
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