Report: Los Angeles County Health Director Says Schools to Reopen ‘After Election’

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In an audio clip of a reported conference call between Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer and school officials, Ferrer is heard saying K-12 schools within the county would not be opening until after the election in November.

On Wednesday, KFI News radio reporter Steve Gregory presented the clip on KFI’s afternoon drive-time John and Ken Show.

Gregory said he received the recording of Ferrer’s conference call with a group of school administrators, school nurses, and other education and medical professionals.

“The basic premise of the phone call was to update everyone on the status of where the county is with respect to opening schools,” Gregory said as he introduced the audio clip of Ferrer’s discussion with the officials.

Ferrer is heard saying in the clip:

We don’t realistically anticipate that we would be moving to either Tier 2 or to reopening K through 12 schools at least until after the election, after early November. When we just look at the timing of everything, it seems to us a more realistic approach to this would be to think that we’re going to be where we are now until we are done with the election.

Gregory said he later emailed the Los Angeles Health Department directly, asking the question, “When did Dr. Ferrer say the schools plan to reopen?”

He continued:

I got a response back that was basically this word salad … I’m serious it’s one big long paragraph of a word salad. It’s not even worth reading because what it really said is “We’re reassessing all the time, and as soon as we … do the in-person learning with the high-risk and the high-need students … we’ll reassess for everyone else. That’s their official answer as to when schools are going to reopen … So, the health department official answer does not jive with the health director.

Gregory added he attempted to ask Ferrer about her comments on her Wednesday call but was not given the chance to address her. He said Ferrer’s “agenda” has been apparent since the start of the pandemic.

“What Ferrer has done in her comments that she’s made over the course of this pandemic, and her agenda has come through many times … she seems to have gone out of the mainstream in the totality of what’s going on in the county, and she’s starting to get very specific on political agendas,” Gregory continued.

“You can tell it took her – what – a week or two to admit that protesters were part of the spread,” he explained.

The show’s hosts agreed Ferrer focuses primarily on social justice issues.

“She’s definitely got a real left bent,” co-host John Kobylt said. “She spends a lot of time huffing and puffing over the minority breakouts on the cases. I mean every day she goes through a laundry list and bemoans it, way, way out of proportion.”

Gregory reported Ferrer said the positivity rate in Los Angeles County is the lowest it has ever been since the start of the pandemic.

“Cases are down, deaths are on a downward trend,” he said. “Hospitalizations are now down under 1,000, which is the first time since the pandemic began.”


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