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A Return to Mask Mandates? There's More COVID Mess Coming Out of LA County

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

This article has been updated to include a tweet promising a lawsuit should Los Angeles indeed return to mask mandates. 

Earlier this week, Townhall and Twitchy both highlighted the absurdity of an ad campaign from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, which encouraged people to get vaccinated and boosted while advertising donuts. The account has restricted all replies, as a pinned tweet from August mentioned, which is also the case with YouTube videos. 


Since the Monday ad campaign, the department's Twitter account has doubled down on more ways to try to incentivize people to get vaccinated, including equating updating one's phone with updating one's booster, health fair advertisements, Comic Con vaccine site partnership, food trucks, and getting vaccinated while at the LA Kings hockey game

There's also a hokey video shared in English and Spanish, which includes 10 holiday tips to "share joy, not COVID." Many of the tips involve getting boosted, yet still show the animated characters wearing masks.

Silly ad campaigns are not the only way in which the department has acted improperly though, far from it. The woman who helms the department, Barbara Ferrer, has come under fire for mask hypocrisy as well as for her daughter authoring a study used to justify forced masking in school. Her daughter, Kaitlin Barnes, has no scientific or medical degree, and no conflicts of interest were mentioned.


As Fox News' Bill Melugin shared in a Twitter thread, Ferrer gave a press conference on Thursday, during which she wore a mask even while speaking and warned that the county could go back to indoor masking, if they get into the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) "high" transmission & hospitalization categories. They are currently in the "medium" category. 

During the question and answer portion, Ferrar shared "I've personally been pleased" that she's seen people wearing their masks again. 

Data last updated on December 2 from The New York Times, shows that "Deaths have decreased by 10 percent" in the past two weeks. Ferrar herself acknowledged this during the press briefing as well. 

In retweeting Melugin, Fox News LA's Elex Michaelson highlighted how extreme and out of the ordinary Ferrer's suggestion is. 

This country is done with COVID masks and is certainly done with being so preoccupied with the virus nearly a full three years into the global pandemic. 

A survey from The Economist/YouGov that was conducted November 19-22 with 1,500 adults found that 59 percent of respondents were not worried about COVID, with a plurality, at 32 percent saying they were "not too worried." Twenty-seven percent said they were "not worried at all." Forty-four percent of respondents, a plurality, also said they "never" wore a mask. Respondents also believe that COVID is here to stay, with 32 percent, also a plurality, saying it will "never" end. 


It's also not as common to find as frequently updated data on what states and counties have mask mandates, given we're so many years into the pandemic and so few have them. 

A state-by-state guide from the AARP, last updated on November 1 mentions that many states have lifted their mask mandates, some years ago. Localities that had kept their mask mandates until more recently, which, again, are more liberal ones, are also mentioned. 

Here's what's mentioned about California:

Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted California's indoor mask mandate March 1. The state continues to strongly recommend face-covering for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings. Masks remain mandatory statewide in health care and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, and homeless and emergency shelters.

Oakland requires masks in municipal facilities such as libraries, senior centers and recreation centers. A face-covering order for indoor events in the city attended by more than 2,500 people expired Nov. 1.

Los Angeles County lifted a mask mandate for public transit and transportation hubs such as airports Sept. 23. A face-covering mandate for riders on the BART rail system serving the San Francisco Bay Area ended Oct. 1. 

Using data last updated on November 20, the department website highlights how 80.8 percent of county residents have been vaccinated, with 73 percent being described as "fully vaccinated." Additionally, 43 percent are listed as having "1+ additional dose," to mean a booster. However, it also mentions that only 12.4 percent of residents ages 12 and up have received their updated booster, with is about the national rate. 


The CDC considers people up to date on their COVID vaccines "if you have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC." 

So, if the department were using CDC standards, then it would seem that even those considered "fully vaccinated" are not considered up to date.

Should LA County indeed reinstate a mask mandate, again, Julie Hamill, who is a school board member-elect tweeted on Friday afternoon that she "immediately file for a TRO if they implement another mask mandate," noting she would do so on behalf of the Alliance of Los Angeles County Parents.

Hamill has repeatedly tweet about Ferrer and the mask mandate, especially since Thursday's press briefing. 

Adding insult to injury is how Ferrar refuses to condemn draconian "zero COVID" policies, which the people there are bravely protesting. As Melugin highlighted in sharing the video of the press conference, Ferrar was asked "does the LA health department condone China's 'zero COVID' policies." It was the last question asked as the event was wrapping up. 


In her non-response, Ferrar claimed "you know, I-I mean it's not our place, um, to really comment on other countries and their policies," she offered. It got worse from there. 

"And, you know, it's super complicated, even in this country, to make good decisions. As always, um, we appreciate, that--that governments have an understanding and an obligation to keep people as safe as possible," Ferrar continued, seemingly expressing appreciation for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) before adding that "we also appreciate as you've seen here, the need for people to have the resources, um, that are necessary for survival and to thrive. Um, so we will let China work on their policies, while we work with all of you on our policies here."

Ferrar appeared to not only follow the rulebook of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Biden administration, but arguably came off as worse, if that's even possible. At best, she came off as incredibly ignorant. 

Many Twitter replies expressed strong reactions, and some suggested it's because she actually favors such a policy. 


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