Facing Distrust and Anger, Seven County Health Officers Have Resigned

The number of public health officers in California that have resigned amid public pressure has risen to seven.

This month, CountyNews reported on Orange County Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick‘s departure, which followed anti-face mask protests and death threats. But she wasn’t alone. Nevada County Public Health Officer Dr. Ken Cutler, San Benito County Interim Public Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman, Butte County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Miller, Orange County Public Health Director David Souleles, and San Bernardino County Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo have also resigned.

“We certainly have had angry comments at meetings before, especially around vaccines, but this level of threat, of having to have a sheriff’s escort, we haven’t seen it before,” Health Officers Association of California Executive Director Kat DeBurgh told SF Gate.

A public meeting about restaurant reopenings in Santa Cruz was recently cut short over intimidation tactics. Officials with numerous counties say they are receiving death threats.

And then there was this bizarre moment at a Ventura County Board of Supervisors meeting in which an anti-mask activist declared, “I am not a sex slave who wears masks!”



On Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order requiring public use of facemasks statewide. It remains to be seen whether this will relieve any of the pressure on local health department personnel.