The chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Kathryn Barger announced publicly that she will oppose any mask mandates made by the LA Public Health Department.
Bill Melugin posted an open letter from Barger, where she wrote to her constituents on Twitter that “I believe masking mandates are polarizing and are unenforceable” and “Imposing a one-size-fits-all masking mandate now for all is not something I can or will support.”
NEW: As @lapublichealth moves toward reinstating a mask mandate, L.A. County Supervisor @kathrynbarger announces she opposes such a move, saying mandates are polarizing & unenforceable, & she’s seen no data that conclusively shows mask mandates stop COVID transmission. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/WVnlararqI
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 25, 2022
LA county is expected to announce a return to indoor mask mandates by the end of this week, local news reports. Officials say that there has been an increase in deaths and cases that warrant the mandate’s return.
“I have not seen any empirical data that conclusively shows that masking mandates make a difference in decreasing or stopping COVID-19 transmission rates,” she wrote in the letter.
LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, “The best way to manage the uncertainty and to reduce morbidity and mortality is to remain open to using both the sophisticated tools we now have our tests, our vaccines, our therapeutics, and the nonpharmaceutical strategies, masking, ventilation, and distancing to layer on protections to respond to the conditions at hand.”
In July of 2021, Barger wrote on Twitter, “I am concerned about rising cases, but I don’t believe the mask mandate will help efforts to stress vaccine efficacy and compel unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated.” The statement came as the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was still recommending that all residents wear masks in public indoor spaces.
In 2022, Barger said that COVID-19 masing policies in the country should be reconsidered.
“They don’t make a difference when they’re not consistently followed or enforced,” she said. “I strongly believe individuals should be allowed to make an informed choice about whether to mask up or not.” Barger abstained from a vote a few days later that mandated the county personnel director to discipline any employees that failed to comply with the county’s vaccine mandate.