Mask Mania in LA – Did Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer Just Backtrack?


    The LA Times reported Thursday that mask mandates are likely returning to Los Angeles on July 29–but did rogue Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer just walk that back a little in her press conference Thursday afternoon? She’s a bit of an enigma, and desperately wants to mask up every human possible, but she’s also been under pressure from RedState and other national news outlets questioning her decision-making.

    Ferrer is not a lady who usually offers anything resembling a glimmer of hope, but on Thursday she uncharacteristically said:

    …should we start seeing steep declines in our [case] numbers next week, because we know hospitalizations are this lagging indicator, we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on indoor universal masking. Because if our cases start a steep decline, it’s likely that our hospitalizations will take a steep decline. (Emphasis mine.)

    This is not the Barbara Ferrer we know and don’t love. She continued:

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    You all look at the same numbers I do. You can see we’re at the cusp between medium and high. It isn’t going to take much to move us back into that medium community level if we can get our case numbers to go lower.

    She also cited wastewater numbers, admitting:

    We may be seeing a plateauing or even a slight decrease at plants that are serving the western portions of the county.

    Wastewater testing can be a helpful resource because right now many people are testing at home and not reporting their results to authorities. Wastewater don’t lie.

    RedState has been following the Ferrer story closely. On Wednesday, Jennifer Van Laar exposed the previously-undisclosed fact that Barbara Ferrer’s daughter was a co-author of the study that both the CDC and the LA County Health Department used to justify mask mandates. Jennifer O’Connell followed up with the story of how an underground moms group exposed Ferrer’s plan to return to mandates in opposition to medical data.

    Wait, there’s more: yours truly wrote about a leaked email showing that LA County Health has already issued its marching orders to mask enforcers. Lastly, Cameron Arcand showed Barbara Ferrer at the All-Star Game–maskless and dancing around like it’s Mardi Gras despite claiming that we’re in a “high concern” COVID environment.

    Phew. Ferrer is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    Businesses meanwhile are also pouring on the heat, as an LA County business group on Thursday pleaded with health officials to call off the mandate after businesses small and large–but especially small–suffered tremendously during the endless lockdowns and mask mandates in the City of Angels.

    “This is not a debate about choosing between lives and livelihoods,” Tracy Hernandez, founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, said in a statement. “This is a discussion about educating and empowering Angelenos to make smart choices about protecting their health, our workers and the region’s collective ability to weather this latest wave of infections. We can do better than a heavy-handed mandate at this stage of pandemic recovery and endemic recalibration.”

    Those in blue states reading this thinking, “who cares? The idiots in California deserve what they get,” think again. If Ferrer is successful in reintroducing mask mandates, look for Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker to take notice, along with Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, and local health authorities nationwide. They’ll be telling you to mask up in no time.

    We can only hope the pressure from businesses, media like RedState and Fox News’ Bill Melugin, Susan Shelley at the LA Daily News, and others have forced Barbara Ferrer to re-consider, and we can hope that her statements today signal a walk back from her usual gloom, doom and mask approach. Los Angeles–and most importantly, our kids–cannot again undergo the trauma that we suffered since COVID arrived on the scene. This is why we keep fighting to stop the mask mandates.

    Because if there’s one thing we know for certain about the “authorities” in these last two long years, if they get one mandate… they will soon go for another.

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