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Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer (Photo: Barbara Ferrer Twitter)

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations

Ferrer’s daughter was the co-author in a mask study despite no acknowledgement of relationship by Ferrer

By Evan Symon, July 22, 2022 6:10 am

One week before an indoor mask mandate is likely to be reinstated in LA County due to reports of rising new cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19, new allegations that Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer used a study co-authored by her daughter without disclosing potential conflicts of interest has arisen, adding more public anger to an already controversial move.

For the last several months, the rise in cases of COVID-19 variants BA.4 and BA.5 caused LA County Public Health officials to warn that a return to the indoor masking policy was possible if new cases and hospitalizations rate hit the ‘high’ threshold set by the CDC. The County announced on July 15th that they had met the threshold, leaving just two weeks for the rates to drop or else a mask mandate would return on July 29th.

“Now, given that we have a lot more BA.4 and BA.5 circulating, that’s really sort of making it much harder to actually slow spread,” Ferrer said last week. “We can’t predict with certainty what the future hospitalization trend will look like. However, it is looking more likely, as cases and admissions have continued to increase, that we’ll enter the high community level designation later this month.”

However, despite many refuting Ferrer’s assessment, including the LA County Chief Medical Examiner, who called it “media hype,” others still support the County’s public health department, with businesses now bracing for a return of the mandate.

“I never thought I would have to put out this again,” an anonymous Glendale restaurant owner told the Globe Thursday, motioning to a masking sign. “We feel like we should be done with this by now.”

Many outlets, including the Globe and the LA Times, have covered this sentiment by the many people in the County.

But on Thursday, a new report by RedState.com found that a study used by Ferrer revealed that a study the CDC Relied upon for school mask mandates was authored by the LA County Public Health Director’s daughter, who’s also is not an MD, the headline read.

The students showed how masks were highly effective in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in LA County schools, but had been co-authored by Ferrer’s daughter with no disclosure showing any relationship between the two. Adding to the controversy, Ferrer’s daughter, Kaitlin Barnes, was found to not be a doctor or have any scientific background, as RedState reported.

The fact that Ferrer nor Barnes did not disclose their relationship beforehand has raised many alarm bells in LA County, as well as nationally.

RedState reported:

A rash of stories (LA Times, WebMD, The Guardian, CNN, US News & World Report) published around the time this study was released follow the same pattern: they lead with the story of a teacher who allegedly infected 26 people by reading to her students without wearing a mask, taking care to emphasize that the teacher was one of only two unvaccinated teachers in the school. Then the stories shift: but, hey, look at this! A new study out of LA County shows that mandatory masking in schools works! CDC Director Rochelle Walensky even mentioned it in a press briefing!

Growing controversy over conflict of interest allegations

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was quick to comment on the story on Thursday. While it did state that Dr. Ferrer had no part in the study (despite being listed in the acknowledgement section), they did not mention Barnes once, nor the complaints of the undisclosed mother-daughter relationship.

“The study was conducted by multiple experienced Public Health infectious disease experts and epidemiologists, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education,” said the Department in a statement on Thursday. “It came to the same conclusion as dozens of other studies from around the world, which is that masks are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19.  Dr. Ferrer had no involvement in this study whatsoever.  The research was led and carried out by respected DPH professionals and a partner agency.”

Many political experts were quick to criticize Barnes and the LA County Public Health Department on Thursday, noting that, at the very least, it should be looked into on grounds of nepotism.

“Ferrer didn’t hire her daughter for this, although she has been hired by the County before, but in Education and not Public Health,”  Los Angeles-based political consultant Vera Cortez told the Globe on Friday. “But a study she was part of was used without the relationship being acknowledged. That is wrong. Even if the study is good, which now there are questions about because of this, it still should have been noted.”

“Ferrer looks like she was hiding something now. The Public Health Department is saying she wasn’t involved in it, but it needs to expand on that since Ferrer was acknowledged in the study. Did she consult, or was she merely quoted or Public Health info in the study approved by use by her? We need to know this if they really want to put this to bed.

“This isn’t the end of the world for Ferrer, and this will not do anything in stopping the mandate ultimately. But if the details of it continue to go unaddressed, we may be looking at some bumps in the road for them in the next several weeks. You know, how can we trust her over the masking mandate if she doesn’t even tell the public that her close relatives had been a part of all this? It just looks bad right now.”

More details on the study and the fallout are expected in the coming weeks.

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32 thoughts on “LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer Faces Conflict of Interest Allegations

    1. Hey!! That is offensive to all wicca! She definitely did not ride in on a broom! Like all Skeletors before her, she road in on a Battle Ram Chariot!! lol

  1. Who cares if her daughter was part of a study. There is no financial gain for either party. Nonsense story to push an anti mask anti science agenda.

    1. There is no science that proves mask work. There are also many real doctors at John Hopkins, Stanford and other institutions that say mask cannot protect you against the airborne virus.

      If you want to cover your face I public go ahead. Leave everyone else alone.

      Take your virtue signaling elsewhere.

    2. Carlos your right your right as far as the anti science. As in the study was done not by a doctor or scientist rather a group of people with an agenda. Are you that stupid you believe in a study done by a person with no credentials or expertise that that field. Judging from your comment it appears you are. Duh, go ahead and just do as your told. I’m done with this crap. I don’t care what they say, I will not be complying with anymore b.s. covid mandates. F them!

  2. It has been widely reported that FERRER didn’t disclose the conflict of interest. True, but it seems to me more important that Barbara Ferrer’s DAUGHTER, Kaitlin S. Barnes, was absolutely required to disclose any conflict of interest in producing the controversial “mask study” and DID NOT. This is a big problem because:

    1) Kaitlin Barnes’ mother, unelected bureaucrat Barbara Ferrer, clearly wants to retain power by harmfully and unnecessarily again reinstituting the mask mandate (which she has repeatedly done over the past TWO-AND-A-HALF-YEARS), and the study Barnes co-authored seeks to show that MASKS WORK, an attempt to bolster Ferrer’s mask mandate, in spite of a flood of studies repeatedly showing masks DO NOT work; and

    2) Ferrer used her connections with a Boston mayor friend to get her daughter a job with that mayor and other politicos in Boston, indicating she has had a hand in her daughter’s past employment, which the Red State report also indicates. This lends further credence to the charge that Ferrer is cozy with the County employee who hired Barnes and through that relationship secured the County P.R. job for her daughter (Barnes) who then co-authored the helpful-to-her mother (Ferrer) “mask study.”

    Barnes conveniently showed up in L.A. in Dec 2020 as a County employee in the middle of the “pandemic.” Barnes is pulling down a $130K salary from the County. Thus L.A. County taxpayers PAID for this study, you know, the one that has been referenced and will AGAIN muzzle us, greatly harming businesses, schoolchildren, and a general return to normality and free movement, as individuals attempt to move on with their lives. This nightmare has been insult added to insulted added to insult added to injury.

    How on earth can Barbara Ferrer and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors get away with masking County residents up AGAIN, harmfully and unnecessarily, in light of this latest outrage, piled on top of all the others, recent and historical?

    1. Please forgive me, I need to say one more thing. Barbara Ferrer, in responding to the charges and clearly furious, told the Fox11 LA reporter that she “did not contribute to the report” nor “did she reference it.”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqnmwJvO_JM
      Maybe Ferrer did not, but Rochelle Walensky at the CDC did! And Ferrer takes her marching orders in part from the CDC daily/weekly doom report.

      What’s more, it is self-evident to anyone who still retains their common sense that Ferrer’s non-MD, non-scientist, P.R.-centered daughter (Kaitlin Barnes) co-authored the “masks work” study so that it would be out there in the pro-mask-mandate ether, that it was produced to be used by anyone and everyone (including Ferrer, by implication) who has an interest in pointing to something that proclaims the effectiveness of masks, which assertion has now and for a long long time resoundingly been proven to be inaccurate.

  3. It should also be made clear that Ferrer’s doctoral degree has nothing to do with medicine. Batchlor’s and Master’s are in art with a doctoral in community outreach.
    Considering the amplified role in our cities this position should at least require an undergrad in medicine and become a position that is elected.

  4. Seems to me I remember Obama, through some executive order, made D.C. un elected bureaucrats that typically changed with administrations permanent. Therefore permanently intrenching his personal ARMY of swamp rats

  5. now this is journalism .California globe and redstate.com doing what other will not do. thank you to am790 kabc john phillips for intriducing me to this site.

    1. Yes, Christopher. Imo, these Ferrer people are criminals. They are using basically the same strategy employed by the corrupt FBI conspirators to circulate fake-Russia-collusion documents created by Christopher Steele, in order to investigate Donald Trump and his associates. Just an example, on another level, of pervasive DEMOCRAT corruption supported and promoted by their backers in the media.

      1. Great point, Raymond. A similar sleight-of-hand method is also used locally when biased “public opinion polls” are produced whose sole purpose is to grease up the electorate to approve a new ballot tax. Or when a local “citizen oversight committee” or local “citizen commission” is stacked with hand-picked people friendly to the city or county leadership, is then “guided” by employees of the city or county, and produces seemingly average-citizen-based recommendations that the city or county powers wanted in the first place. Meanwhile recommendations are pointed to as something average citizens wanted. This is also done at the state and local level via so-called “blue ribbon committees,” “task forces” or “strike forces.”

  6. Masks do not work. Viruses are too small and can go right through. What gets trapped in the mask are bacteria, small food particles, plaque, CO2 , and other microbes mixed with wet saliva. These are trapped in masks and are inhaled back in our lungs. The director of public health should teach people how to increase natural immunity like plenty of fresh air, Vit D, healthy diet etc.

    1. Thank you for posting, Fed Up. Effect on immunity and other problems from the vaccine has been suspected for some time and I’m glad to see this proof of actual research being done. It’s a nightmare, isn’t it.

      1. Yes! Why the hell aren’t the media, CDC, etc., inquiring about this study? Oh, wait. It doesn’t support their narrative.

  7. The real problem here is the unchallenged assertion that dozens of studies show that masks are effective. The truth is the methodologies are all suspect and in this case do they even state what kind of a study it was or provide a link? That’s pretty much proof the author only wanted to hear the same echo of other studies. I will point out the obvious thing about all these trials by quoting Vinny Prasad MD.
    “ The CDC did not run a single randomized controlled trial (RCT). An individual RCT called DANMASK was negative, but this trial was powered for a 50% reduction in infection. Some thought that was asking too much (we will return to this)! A cluster RCT in Bangladesh was negative for cloth masks, and very modestly positive for surgical masks. However, further data revealed imbalances in the starting size— likely because the trial failed to achieve concealment, leading more people to sign up in the intervention arm (who may be less committed to report + Covid symptoms; biasing results). Furthermore, absolute event differences were v small. These facts, combined with prior literature, suggest that confidence even in surgical masks is extremely low. Meanwhile, there are no RCTs in kids, a catastrophic research failure.”

    So there, I did what the author here would not.

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