A new lawsuit filed in Los Angeles on behalf of a group of parents seeks to immediately halt any plans to bring back an indoor mask mandate on school children, claiming that the Los Angeles Department of Public Health “is using erroneous hospitalization metrics.”
“On behalf of @LACountyParents, I filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint against @lapublichealth, Ferrer and Davis. We cannot live like this anymore. If she proceeds with the new mask mandate on Friday, we will immediately seek a TRO,” attorney Julie Hamill announced on Twitter.
On behalf of @LACountyParents, I filed a petition for writ of mandate and complaint against @lapublichealth, Ferrer and Davis. We cannot live like this anymore. If she proceeds with the new mask mandate on Friday, we will immediately seek a TRO. https://t.co/zVZL6s50AU
— Julie Hamill (@hamill_law) July 27, 2022
Hamill’s lawsuit names defendants:
“COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH; MUNTU DAVIS, in his official capacity as Health Officer for the County of Los Angeles; BARBARA FERRER, in her official capacity as Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.”
In the lawsuit Hamill addresses the July 13, 2022 Town Hall meeting of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Executive Officer Jorge Orozco, and Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Division Service Chief Dr. Paul Holtom of the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center, as the Globe reported.
Leading up to the Town Hall meeting, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer had been teasing that indoor mask mandates will likely come back because of the “high” level of COVID-19 transmission” in the County.
However, as Hamill explains in the lawsuit, to enter the “High” risk Community Level, a county must have more than 10 new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. CDC data show the County at 11 per 100,000 as of approximately July 20, 2022, so by that measure the County is designated “High.”
“Beneath those numbers, though, is a critical error: most of those ‘COVID hospitalizations’ are not actually caused by COVID.”
In the lawsuit Hamill says:
During the Town Hall, Los Angeles County’s (“County”) top physicians expressed calm and reassuring observations of a decrease in severity of COVID. Among the statements made by the physicians were the following:
- “[W]e’re just seeing nobody with severe COVID disease.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “[W]e have no one in the hospital who had pulmonary disease due to COVID.Nobody in the hospital.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “[C]ertainly there is no reason from a hospitalization due to COVID perspective,to be worried at this point.” – Dr. Holtom.
- “We’re seeing a lot of people with mild disease in urgent care or ED who gohome and do not get admitted.” – Dr. Spellberg.
- “A lot of people have bad colds, is what we’re seeing.” – Dr. Spellberg.
- “It is just not the same pandemic as it was, despite all the media hype to thecontrary.” – Dr. Spellberg. (Exh. A).
“On that same day, County Public Health Director Ferrer announced she intends to implement a new countywide mask mandate due to the County being in the “High” tier of community COVID risk.”
“During a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on July 26, 2022, Ms. Ferrer rejected the idea of revising the hospitalization metrics used to classify the County in the “High” tier and maintained these metrics will still be used to determine whether a mask mandate will be implemented this week. These metrics will therefore continue to be used for this and all future surges of COVID, which as an endemic virus are likely to occur during every cold and flu season and during the now well-observed annual summer surges.”
“The incongruity between the County’s decision to impose such a dramatic restriction on its residents and the remarks of the LAC+USC physicians explaining the waning risks of COVID and absence of high hospitalization due to COVID demonstrates decision-making by County Public Health that is beyond the bounds of reason, arbitrary, capricious, and entirely lacking in evidentiary support.”
“With the imminent possibility of masks being forced on children for a fourth consecutive school year, the idea of ignoring the harms from masking students as short-term, one- time interventions must be dismissed. Instead, the costs of masking students for the past two years – and for years on end – must be factored in. The imposition of a new mandate will irreparably harm children in Los Angeles County, and the Alliance seeks to enjoin its enforcement through this action.”
Parents’ comments about the lawsuit were overwhelmingly supportive and showed just how fed up they are:
“Yes, thank you!! #FireFerrer I should not have to move to Florida, we need our human rights respected here.”
“Anyone calling for mask mandates at this point is truly calling for forever masking. It’s not acceptable and it’s an abuse of power.”
“I wish she could see the young ones and how behind their language skills and social development have become because they can’t clearly see the faces of their caregivers nor hear them clearly. I guess they can get more $ for schools later to deal with them being behind. $$$$$”
“I’m so grateful for your work. The government overreach has been shocking, unjustified, and so harmful. We are not meant to be ruled by delusional bureaucrats who think they can change the social contract with impunity. We must never let it happen again. You are awesome.”
Hamill says “DPH abused its discretion by failing to utilize accurate hospitalization data to calculate community risk levels, and failing entirely to consider evidence from the County’s top medical doctors that COVID is no longer causing serious disease and there is ‘no reason from a hospitalization due to COVID perspective to be worried at this point.’”
THANK to to inspirational lawyer/mom/activist/friend @hamill_law for going out of her way to file a lawsuit against Ferrer and @lapublichealth to have a judge legally remove their power to impose additional mandates on the people, citing all the facts we’ve laid out this week. https://t.co/G7SbwC9Yw5
— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) July 27, 2022
Additionally, Hamill presents evidence in the lawsuit that mask mandates in schools have no statistical impact on community spread.
“This lawsuit is a labor of love,” Hamill said. “Every single attorney and medical expert working on this case is doing it for free. It’s that important. Thank you to everyone who has helped me pull it together. Especially the Top Secret Underground Moms Group.”
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