A recent letter from C.E. Goodyear published in your paper was critical of recent decisions made by the California Department of Public Health as part of its efforts to curtail the ongoing COVID pandemic.

I will not be addressing comments he made about legal abortions, border security, political ideation, or immigration policies, but as the Health Officer for Trinity County I wish to respond to his comments about COVID as some of the statements he made were incomplete and not accurate.

Mr. Goodyear raises an important issue worthy of discussion, namely personal freedom, choice, and how individuals can be “free to pursue their own lives as they wish so long as they don’t potentially infringe on the lives of others” (Richard Gage, Mt. Shasta).

As a scientist and experienced medical professional, I rely on facts:

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 3 in 10 medical professionals are indeed considering leaving their jobs because of pandemic burnout, and not because of county or state mandates.

Another study by the Associated Press (AP-NORC poll, Alexandra Olson & Hannah Fingerhut), showed that half of U.S. workers favor employee vaccination mandates.

Personal correspondence with my fellow health officers in California, and other professionals actively engaged in this pandemic work, suggest that 95% of physicians, 70% of RNs, and 60% of nursing assistants have been vaccinated in California.

Oregon has also issued regulations regarding masking and vaccine mandates.

The bottom line is that none of us are independent of the social communities in which we live. We have a moral and ethical obligation to protect those who are unable to be vaccinated because of age or a qualifying medical condition.

The concept of sharing pertinent medical information about yourself is common in the medical community, and it is not possible for us to hide behind HIPAA regulations. When we enter medical or nursing school, or take a job in a health care setting, we have to disclose information about our tuberculosis status and measles immunity for just two examples, and we all get annual flu immunizations or must wear a mask when we are at work.

California is currently experiencing its fastest increase in coronavirus cases since the onset of the pandemic, with case rates increasing ninefold in the last two months. We must do what is necessary to protect our vulnerable populations and to keep health care systems operating across the state, and locally in Trinity County.

Thank you for raising your concerns.

(5) comments

Truth First

It seems that the bulk of your “facts” have been selectively culled from all the available information out there, Doc, and tailored to fit the pro-vax narrative of someone whose mind is already made up (that would be you, sir, evidently).

Conveniently overlooked has been any countervailing evidence, and there's plenty of it out there, such as the fact that a staggering number of fully vaccinated individuals have gotten COVID and many of them have died from it. That's what the kids would call a record scratch, yo.

Then there's the ever-changing advice issued by the so-called experts on the matter, like exactly how many masks we now need to be wearing when we're fully vaccinated. And engaging in strenuous exercise. Out of doors. Alone. Is it up to four now? Or still just three masks?

Wait. You're a doctor, right? Don't face coverings restrict people's oxygen intake, an especially dangerous undertaking for old folks, pregnant women and those with underlying medical conditions? I defer to your expertise, of course.

And yeah, do avoid discussing border security issues if you like, seeing as how that topic is not exactly in your wheelhouse and all. But the one glaring hypocrisy that Mr. Goodyear pointed out and which still needs to be addressed, about how we citizens are being made to jump through all these absurd mask & vax hoops while illegal aliens are allowed to flood the borders by the thousands without any consideration to their vaccine status whatsoever, is one of those blatant 'up yours' to We The People that rival our governor's unmasked French Laundry charade last spring, to name one example. And, that fact alone pretty well makes null and void any and all efforts we're making to end this pandemic, wouldn't you say?

So...your personal correspondence with fellow health officers in this state is what tells you that the vast majority of medical personnel here are vaccinated? Well, that makes for an interesting snapshot, I suppose. But it's not science. I just hope you don't treat patients and diagnose illnesses based on your emails.

Your being required, as a licensed physician, to share your medical details and immunization status makes obvious sense. To imply that anyone else who does otherwise is somehow “hiding behind” HIPAA, for not wanting their vaccine status weaponized against them some day, is something only an arrogant authoritarian would suggest. And we all know you're not that, Herr Doktor.

So good luck collecting the data and getting all your facts in order, sir. Seeing as how the official line is changing—at times drastically so—on a weekly basis, it appears you've got your work cut out for you.


Trinity Bob

I find it fascinating, TF, that the letter writer you're defending, Mr. Goodyear, is included in your grouping as an easily deceived sheeple and someone who has been so easily misled about the vaccine, which he told us he had taken.

In the extremely remote chance that we one day might agree on something, please do not come to my defense. With "friends" like you, I'd rather not have your help.

Truth First

"Well, my heavens. If an honest-to-goodness M.D. comes out as pro-vax, then he must speak for the bulk of the medical establishment. Thank you, senior health professional, for telling me exactly what I wanted to hear in order to reinforce by long-held beliefs. I think I'm in love. Sigh."

Trinity Bob

And we are supposed to treat your proclamations on coronavirus as a higher truth than Dr. Herfindahl's because you earned your medical doctorate degree where? And you've been providing health care where? And for how many years?

Pardon me, TF, but I'm going to take advice from somebody who actually knows what they're talking about, and that ain't you.

Truth First

Clearly, gullibility transcends all human life experiences, including college degrees.

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