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LA Mask Mania—Did Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer Backtrack?

On Thursday, the LA Times reported that mask mandates could be reinstated in Los Angeles on July 29—but did the notorious Public Health Director have to retrace her steps slightly during her press conference on Thursday afternoon? Ferrer wants everyone wearing masks. She's under pressure by RedState and other national media outlets who are questioning her decisions.

Ferrer is not a woman who normally offers hope, however on Thursday she spoke out in a way that was uncharacteristic:

…should we start seeing steep declines in our [case] numbers next week, because we know hospitalizations are this lagging indicator, we are likely to want to take a pause on moving too quickly on indoor universal masking. Because if our cases start a steep decline, it’s likely that our hospitalizations will take a steep decline.

This isn't what we would normally hear from Barbara Ferrer. She went on to say:

“You all look at the same numbers I do. You can see we’re at the cusp between medium and high. It isn’t going to take much to move us back into that medium community level if we can get our case numbers to go lower.”

She also provided numbers on wastewater, saying, “We may be seeing a plateauing or even a slight decrease at plants that are serving the western portions of the county.”

The testing of wastewater can be informative since currently, a lot of people are doing tests at home but not reporting their results to the authorities. Wastewater does not lie.

RedState has been watching the story with keen interest. On Wednesday, Jennifer Van Laar exposed the fact that Barbara Ferrer's daughter was a co-author of the study that both the CDC and the LA County Health Department used to justify mask mandates. Jennifer Oliver O'Connell followed up with a story about the ways in which a group of moms from exposed Ferrer's plan to reinstate mandates despite medical information.

RedState wrote about an email recently leaked revealing how LA County Health has already issued orders to the mask enforcers. Cameron Arcand showed Barbara Ferrer at the All-Star game without a mask and dancing like it was Mardi Gras, despite the fact that she claims we're in a “high concern” COVID environment.

Companies are also turning up the heat as an LA County business group on Thursday called on health officials to halt the rule after companies of all sizes were terribly hurt through the constant lockdowns and mask mandates imposed throughout LA County.

“This is not a debate about choosing between lives and livelihoods,” Tracy Hernandez, founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, said in a statement. “This is a discussion about educating and empowering Angelenos to make smart choices about protecting their health, our workers and the region’s collective ability to weather this latest wave of infections. We can do better than a heavy-handed mandate at this stage of pandemic recovery and endemic recalibration.”

For those in other blue states who are thinking “who cares? The idiots of California deserve what they are getting,” think again. If Ferrer succeeds in reintroducing mask-related mandates, expect Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker to take note, as will Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, California's Governor Gavin Newsom, and local health authorities across the nation. They'll quickly require you to wear masks again.

Hopefully, the pressure of businesses, media such as RedState and Fox News' Bill Melugin, Susan Shelley at the LA Daily News, and others have caused Barbara Ferrer to re-consider, and that Ferrer's comments today indicate she is backing away from her usual doom and gloom approach. The most important thing for LA is that the county will never ever again suffer the same trauma we endured since COVID came into the picture. That's why many continue fighting to prevent the mask mandate.

If there's one thing we can be certain of concerning these “authorities” in these last two years, it's that when they get one mandate in place… others soon follow.

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