By Katy Grimes, California Globe
“Two officials at one of the largest hospital systems in Los Angeles and Southern California dismissed government officials’ statements about another wave of COVID-19 hitting the region and the United States as ‘media hype,’” The Epoch Times reported Sunday.
This flies in the face of Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer’s announcement on Thursday that Los Angeles County has officially reached the “High” level of new COVID-19 cases and County hospitalization rates, giving the County two weeks to fall back below or else mandatory indoor masking mandates return, as the Globe reported.
Ferrer has been teasing with the “high” level of COVID-19 transmission” indoor mask mandates will likely come back.
“In a news conference on July 13, Brad Spellberg, the chief medical officer of Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, and epidemiologist Paul Holtom, said that there have been no changes in the transmission levels of COVID-19.”
“Our Covid situation – it’s just the same. It has not changed,” Spellberg said. He showed a graph and said, “it’s plateaued and has not gone down.”
Dr. Spellberg said they are seeing thousands of people with Covid, “but it is mild, and they go home,” he said.
He said of the patients who are admitted to the hospital, “90% of the time it is not due to Covid. Only 10% of our Covid-positive admissions are due to Covid.”
“None of them go to the ICU, and when they do, it is not for pneumonia,” he added. “They are not intubated. We have not seen one of those since February.”
“A lot of people have really bad colds is what we are seeing, Spellberg said.
“’It is just not the same pandemic that it was, despite all the media hype to the contrary… I mean … a lot of people have bad colds is what we’re seeing,” Spellberg added.”
“So many people are testing at home and not reporting that in,” Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Holtom said. “No one has any idea how many are actually testing positive.”
So where did Barbara Ferrer get her numbers to justify indoor masking again?
“It was announced that LA County had finally broken through the 10 or more hospitalizations per 100,000 people threshold, which, according to the CDC, means that LA now is back to the ‘High’ community level,” the Globe reported. “With LA County at 10.5, and the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants amounting to 81% of new cases, Dr. Ferrer noted on Thursday that the County that it looked like masks would be coming back by July 29th.”
“As of today, we have moved from the medium to the “High” COVID community level,” Ferrer said during a public briefing. “If the county remains in the CDC-designated High level for two consecutive weeks, we will again impose a universal mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate.”
The two doctors dismissed Ferrer’s claims, and said the Public Health Officer’s assessment doesn’t match the numbers.
“We’re just seeing nobody with severe Covid symptoms,’ Holtom added.
“As of this morning, we have no one in the hospital who had pulmonary disease due to COVID. Nobody in the hospital … Nobody. Nobody who had COVID-19 disease as we would see it in the past. So I guess it is hard to get a little more excited,” he said.