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COVID misinformation is a ‘public health crisis’

Misinformation about Covid 19 and a vaccine designed to prevent it create a “public health crisis,” the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors announced Tuesday, prompting a backlash from several residents.

In a statement they unanimously approved, the supervisors stressed that the vaccine met strict scientific standards and that doubts about the dangers posed by COVID-19 created a “culture of distrust”. Which undermines the efforts of health officials to eradicate the epidemic.

Supervisor John Guevara, who introduced the statement to Supervisor Karen Mitch Off, requested a quote commonly attributed to the late New York scene.

The symbolic announcement is the county’s latest move to promote vaccination. Currently, 82% of county residents aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated, and Contra Costa joined other Bay Area counties earlier this month. Establishing standards for carrying the indoor mask mandate. For those people.

Contra Costa Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Fernitano said the county is on track to meet the first standard by the end of this month, which has reached a moderate “yellow level” of COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Has been Prevention standards.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors hears public comments at a meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021. (Screenshot)

Fernitano added that the county could reach two other standards by December or early January – including COVID-19 hospitalization and vaccination rates.

Dozens of speakers at Tuesday’s meeting slammed supervisors and county health officials for promoting the vaccine and labeling suspicions about it as misinformation.

Many suggested that the board was violating their right to free speech, equating conflicting beliefs with misinformation.

“This policy has created two classes of people – vaccines and non-vaccines,” said Brock Weinburn, a firefighter and paramedic from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

He said one of his colleagues could be fired for mourning his refusal to receive the vaccine and regular testing for the virus.

Other speakers questioned the extent to which the definition of “misinformation” could be extended from a supervisor’s point of view, calling the announcement a “slippery slope.”

The supervisors’ statement said health officials, doctors and nurses had recommended the vaccine and claimed that misinformation about it could lead eligible residents to “reduce COVID-19 vaccines, face public health measures such as Covering and rejecting physical distance, and leading to unproven use “treatment. ”

Jason, a Hercules police officer who gave only his first name, called the statement a “direct attack on the First Amendment.”

“Many years ago, the roundness of the earth was misunderstood and science was populated,” Jason said. “We know this is not true.”

County resident Lindsay King, who called Tuesday’s meeting, said the free speech was “a milestone in a free society” and warned political observers of the political consequences.

“Eliminating the rotten system that drives this agenda will be dealt with in legal proceedings and memoranda,” King said. “You can do it, but it will come back to haunt you.”

Jackie Cotta, a speaker, said that at one point, Guevara became hot, and that the statement of misinformation affected “borderline brown shirt Nazism,” referring to the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party.

“It’s offensive, what you just said,” Javia retreated, while Kota had a constitutional right to comment. “I have the right to call it shameful, disgusting, inappropriate. Without comment.” of the. ”

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