Health Officials are Quitting or Getting Fired Amid Outbreak

August 12, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified August 13, 2020

Vilified, threatened with violence, and in some cases suffering from burnout, dozens of state and local public health leaders around the U.S. have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak. According to a new article by Modern Healthcare, this a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns, and infection data have become.

At least 49 state and local public health leaders have resigned, retired, or been fired since April across 23 states. The list has grown by more than 20 people since June. The cuts come at a time when public health expertise is needed more than ever, said Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Many of the firings and resignations have to do with conflicts over mask orders or social distancing shutdowns, Freeman said. Despite the scientific evidence, many politicians and others have argued that such measures are not needed, no matter what health experts tell them.

“It’s not a health divide; it’s a political divide,” Freeman said.

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