Legislation Would Protect Public Health Workers from Harassment
Public health officials have experienced an unprecedented level of harassment and intimidation by fringe activists during the coronavirus pandemic. Under an amended bill introduced by Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), those officers would receive much needed privacy protection.
Senate Bill 483 would prohibit the disclosure of home addresses for public health officers, adding them to a list of employees in Department of Motor Vehicles’ records whose addresses cannot be shared.
Harassment campaigns against health workers have already led to the resignations of seven county health officers in California. Protesters upset over shelter-in-place orders and face masks have shown up at their homes, frightened their families, and made death threats against them.
As California grapples with a new surge of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, continuity of public health expertise depends on a simple truth: health officers must feel safe to do their jobs.