While corporate media continues to criticize President Trump and his administration’s handling of COVID-19, they have paid little attention to other significant shifts in COVID-19 policy on a local and state level, including the resignations of health officials over coronavirus management in both New York and California.
Since the beginning of August, corporate media gave Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump’s critiques of coronavirus task force leader Deborah Birx lots of air time in the New York Times and other major outlets.
“I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says, swallow Lysol, it’s going to cure your virus. It’ll kill you and you won’t have the virus anymore,” Pelosi said in an interview with CNN.
There were also numerous reports from CNN, ABC, and NBC highlighting the friction between the Trump administration and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s most recent comments about how to handle the virus and how he threw the opening pitch for the Washington Nationals. In the past few weeks, however, similarly significant changes in some of the most COVID-affected states have occurred with little to no national coverage.
Early last week, Dr. Oxiris Barbot stepped down as New York City’s health commissioner, claiming that her and others’ expertise was not valued or used to its full extent by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree that it could have been,” Barbot wrote in her resignation letter. “Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance and response work. The city would be well served by having them at the strategic center of the response, not in the background.”
Right before her resignation, the health department appeared to be in conflict with the mayor’s decision to move certain contact tracing responsibilities to overworked public hospitals. At the time, New York City had more than 230,000 total cases and more than 23,000 deaths.
On Sunday, the director of the California Department of Public Health resigned from her position over email in the wake of what state officials say was a computer error causing an undercount in coronavirus cases.
“Since January, when we got word of repatriation flights arriving from Wuhan, China, our department has been front and center in what has become an all-of-government response of unprecedented proportions to COVID-19,” Dr. Sonia Angell wrote. “In the final calculation, all of our work, in aggregate, makes the difference.”
Angell’s resignation came a mere week after more than 300,000 records of COVID-19 test results were not processed by a computer system, causing an “inaccurate accounting of positivity rates and confirmed cases.”
“Gov. Newsom’s Public Health Director has abruptly resigned. The Governor himself has not been seen in the week since a major ‘glitch’ in COVID case data was revealed,” tweeted a California legislator.
Gov. Newsom's Public Health Director has abruptly resigned. The Governor himself has not been seen in the week since a major "glitch" in COVID case data was revealed.
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) August 10, 2020
On Monday, Newsom said the backlog had been properly addressed, but the corporate media failed to dramatize this shakeup in health bureaucracy in large, Democrat-led states on par with their portrayal of similar occurrences at the presidential level.