Los Angeles County’s public health director raised eyebrows this week after she said schools in the county likely wouldn’t reopen until after the Nov. 3 election.
An audio clip released by KFI AM 640 revealed Barbara Ferrer made the reported comments while discussing the upcoming flu season during a conference call with local educators, school nurses and other groups.
“We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving either to Tier 2 [of California’s reopening plan] or to reopening K-12 schools at least until after the election, after, you know, in early November,” Ms. Ferrer said in the clip, CBS Los Angeles reported.
“If we just look at the timing of everything, it seems to us the most realistic approach to this would be to think that we’re gonna be where we are now until we are done with the elections,” she added.
Ms. Ferrer’s comments were met with criticism on social media by conservatives and others who want to see schools and businesses reopened and believe the issue has been politicized to hurt President Trump.
An L.A. County Department of Public Health spokesperson said Ms. Ferrer’s comments were related “only to timing any expanded school re-openings to allow for enough time from the implementation of changes to assess impact prior to expansions,” CBS Los Angeles reported.
“DPH will be working closely with schools providing services and supports to high need students over the next 6-8 weeks to implement and assess safety directives and strategies for ensuring infection control and distancing,” the department said. “This information will be used to inform the timing of future activities at schools.”