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From Facing Pandemic to Death Threat, The Agony of Health Officials

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Emma Green
Emma Green is a Post-Graduate in Mass Communication who is acquainted with the dos and don’ts of ethical journalism and news writing techniques. She is also a contributor to the International news section at InstaTribune.

During this pandemic, everyone needs to wear masks and keep social distance. But despite the benefit of keeping everyone healthy, many people began to ignore doing the good deed.

Some people voice their anger toward the policy. This causes the leader of the health department to face personal insult and harassment. Even more than that, some also received death threats in recent weeks.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer stated that she condemned the attack to public officials. Dr. Ferrer who is the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health She also said that she’s been facing the same threats.

What really shocking is that during a Facebook live briefing, someone casually suggested to shot her. The event took place last month. She only realized about the horrifying message because her family saw it.

Public Health Official Step Down From Their Position due to Death Threat

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The daunting reality makes it really hard for all health officials. Even from the start, they had to handle the crisis with minimum staff and a limited budget.

The worrisome situation makes some of them choose to leave their position entirely. Lori Tremmel Freeman said that the number of health officials keeps decreasing since the pandemic began. Freeman is the chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Official.

Dr. Amy Acton, the state health director of Ohio, faced anti-Semitic attacks. Many protesters also demonstrated in front of her house. After enduring the situation, she decided to step down from her position this month.

Not all of the health officials willing to explain the reason for their departure. Those who did say, cite that they leave due to personal reasons. Some of them also said that they are planning on retiring. But Mrs. Freeman suspects that the true reason was because of harassment.

Critics of public health are highlighting how health directors are too careful about reopening business. The protester said that the risk of letting the business run again is bearable. Many also mention about the conspiracy theories. Despite the growing number of cases and death by the virus, they insist that coronavirus is not real.

In normal times, health officials are a very trusted figure. But now that we’re in this situation, they have a big red target on their backs.

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