Health officers face unprecedented threats, intimidation | August 7, 2020 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 7, 2020

Health officers face unprecedented threats, intimidation

Amid COVID-19, some current officers have resigned

by Sue Dremann

While working long hours to lead the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, health officers nationwide, including Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody, have been subjected to unprecedented threats and intimidation over their directives to keep businesses and schools closed and their orders that the public should wear masks.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at [email protected]


Posted by Jean
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Aug 7, 2020 at 10:05 am

Jean is a registered user.

I am so grateful for Sara Cody's leadership during this pandemic. I fear Santa Clara County could easily have been raging out of control at this point without Dr. Cody at the helm. She studies the past, the present and the future as she guides us through these murky waters. Thank you, Dr. Cody.

Posted by Jon Castor
a resident of Woodside
on Aug 7, 2020 at 10:51 am

Jon Castor is a registered user.

I'm also very grateful for the work our health officers are doing. It's a tough job. Not always clear what's the right decision. What is clear: threats and intimidation have no place in the debate. None.

Posted by Neil Weintraut
a resident of Portola Valley
on Aug 7, 2020 at 10:52 am

Neil Weintraut is a registered user.

Until we are capable of treating and accepting each other with respect - i.e. treat each other *civilly* - including those who have different opinions or beliefs than our own, we are not the civilized world that we fancy ourselves to be. And we're all worse off for it. Regardless of other people's beliefs and opinions, each of us will find ourselves better for at least respecting the other person, but if you can't marshall the ability or control to do so, I hope that we'll at least get to the point where we don't threaten them for it.

Posted by MarkusF
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 7, 2020 at 11:12 am

MarkusF is a registered user.

Like many others, I'm grateful for Sara Cody's work. Paulette Altmaier is not speaking on behalf of Santa Clara residents. If something ever happened to Cody, Altmaier will have to share in the responsibility.

Posted by NeilsonBuchanan
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

How can we tap into the creative genius of Silicon Valley and let these leaders and their staff know that they are supported and appreciated? One idea is creation of a scholarship fund for public health students at our state's leading schools of public health. What else?

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Jennifer is a registered user.

Nobody should have to deal with death threats, especially medical professionals during a pandemic.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 7, 2020 at 11:25 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

It’s a challenging time and we need intelligent public health officers. I think anyone who threatens or doxxes a public health official should face serious prosecution. It’s ok to disagree with people, but the above cross a line. Idiotic social media: Twitter, facebook, instagram, tiktok are ruining any shred of intelligence while encouraging rampant narcissism. Yuck. Social media influencers are typically idiotic (sometimes attractive) empty headed young people. I wish the public would “follow” (in the real world, not the vurtual world) actual, learned authorities like public health officials. My comments discuss the general state of things (inane, wasteful Kardashian-ilk social media) while also focusing on the distinct problem of the voices of actual, needed government officials being downplayed or even dismissed. What an era.

Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 8, 2020 at 8:12 am

Palo Alto Resident is a registered user.

Was Dr. Sara Cody the leader in shutting down the Counties?

While Dr. Sara Cody was saying in early March "risk is low and schools will not shut down" it was actually Dr. Scott Morrow in San Mateo was the leader in not watering down the CDC message. There is a NYT article on him weeks before Dr. Sara Cody shut down Santa Clara county and while Dr. Sara Cody was asserting "risk is low" Dr. Scott Morrow was drumming the beat of warning weeks before Dr. Sara Cody did.

She in fact went from asserting "risk is low" first few weeks of March to suddenly flip flopping and saying "shut down now" on March 13th. That's why PAUSD teachers and parents and students got very little warning thanks to her "risk is low and schools won't shut down" statements in February and early March. Indeed, because it was so sudden in closure, it was very traumatic for PAUSD students and teachers.

Thanks for that Dr. Sara Cody.

Was Dr. Sara Cody the leader on shutting down the counties?

Posted by Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 8, 2020 at 8:30 am

Palo Alto Resident is a registered user.

Dear Palo Alto online, you should do your research better. NYT article on Dr. Scott Morrow came out weeks before Santa Clara County even said we will shut down our schools. When Dr. Sara Cody was saying "risk is low and no need to shut down schools" as Health officer of Santa Clara County, it was Dr. Scott Morrow in San Mateo County that sounded the warning bell. San Mateo County was not even a hot spot, but Santa Clara County was.

Your statement below is wrong. Did she show foresight and leadership? I think she grabbed the spotlight and mic when the various counties came together and shut the counties down. Dr. Scott Morrow over in San Mateo County deserves more praise. And indeed NYT article came out on Dr. Scott Morrow not Dr. Sara Cody for a reason. She only shut down the county, when the other counties decided together to shut things down. Was she the leader? Highly doubtful. She wasn't the leader in sounding the warning bell, but was one of the folks watering CDC warnings down when Dr. Scott Morrow was not.

Article states: Cody is among the most prominent and visible faces in the fight against COVID-19. She led Bay Area health officers in what became the country's first stay-at-home order. Praised early on for her foresight and leadership, as the pandemic has worn on, she has faced at times scathing criticism for a notably cautious approach to reopening the economy.

Posted by Liz Phillips
a resident of Atherton
on Aug 8, 2020 at 1:53 pm

Liz Phillips is a registered user.

The people threatening these officials need to pursued and prosecuted. It has become a way of lawlessness that cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

Posted by Local
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 9, 2020 at 11:56 pm

Local is a registered user.

Thank you Sara Cody - a huge fan. I'm a family of six living here and we are all grateful you shut down fast. My kids know you are one of the good people.

Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 20, 2020 at 9:12 am

Alice Schaffer Smith is a registered user.

When ghouls start threatening fact-based medical advisers, we have entered into Alice in Wonderland territory. I applaud Dr. Cody and the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for their sensible actions based on facts.

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