By Judy Bruce
(Editor’s note: Dr. Levin conceded that he used “imprecise language” which could lead to misunderstanding and that there are not mandatory relocations/separations of people. Please see the reader comment below from “Citizen Reporter”.)
I emailed the 5 Ventura County supervisors calling for a denunciation of Robert Levin’s remarks on testing, tracking and quarantining people. Also pictured is how to reach each supervisor.
Stop this insanity now — do your thing, people. Use whatever you want from the text below. Victory.
Dear Ventura County Supervisors Bennett, Parks, Long, Huber and Zaragoza,
Video of Dr. Robert Levin’s remarks last night (May 4) are spreading fast through social media. My name is Joel Kilpatrick. I’m a Columbia University-trained journalist and writer who has lived in Thousand Oaks for 19 years. I am outraged by the county’s and state’s plans to isolate and quarantine people forcibly, and to track down those who have been in contact with these people, also for quarantining. This behavior is unimaginable in the United States of America and is an egregious violation of the Bill of Rights and constitutional law.
I made a transcript (see below) of Dr. Levin’s remarks and am posting them this evening on social media, along with the video already posted today of the same press conference. I and many others call on you to publicly denounce these remarks and any plans to test and quarantine the people of Ventura County or to track down those who have been in contact with them.
Several of us have friends who serve in the White House, and we are alerting them to this flagrantly tyrannical approach to public health. We also are alerting our friends in the national news media.
You may call or email me, but on principle, don’t come to my house, if you are able to find my address. I look forward to your response and, more importantly, your public denunciation of these plans.
Partial transcript of remarks by Dr. Robert Levin, Ventura County press conference
May 4, 2020: YouTube video: https://youtu.be/0Kf_gWrBio4
(transcript starts at 3:19})
“We are beginning a program today, and it’s a pilot program which will certainly grow into something larger and larger, and that is a community contact tracing program. We’ve done contact tracing all along. A ‘contact’ is a person who has been exposed to someone that we document to have the COVID infection. When we find someone who has a COVID infection, those people are immediately isolated, but we also work with them to figure out who their contacts were.
“Luckily, because you have been doing such a great job of cooperating and staying indoors, staying isolated, it used to be there were ten contacts, at least, of every patient that we would find. Now it looks like there are only two or three or four contacts, not surprisingly. Because most people have been staying away from others. And that’s good news.
“But the purpose of this program is to bring on people — we’re going to start with ten people; we may bring on up to fifty or even more as the program grows and we see the needs for it. As we do more testing, we will find more and more people who have COVID-19, and again, we will isolate every one of them and we will find every one of their contacts, and we will make sure that they stay quarantined, and we will check, in with them every day.
“In other words, what this program means is that we are going to do a more complete job, and we’re going to do a more meticulous job of making it less and less possible for others in the county to run into someone with COVID-19 infection.
“It’s not just our county that’s bringing more people on. There are going to be thousands of people hired who will be these contact investigators throughout the state. And this is occurring in many, many other states as well — perhaps all the states in our country. We will be giving intensive training to these people, training not only for identifying and finding contacts but also in terms of how to be sensitive about doing it.
“We also realize that as we find more contacts, some of the people we find are going to have trouble being isolated. For instance, if they live in a home where there’s only one bathroom, and there are three or four other people living there, and those people don’t have COVID infection, we’re not going to be able to keep the person in that home. Every person who we’re isolating, for instance, needs to have their own bathroom. So we’ll be moving people like this into other kinds of housing that we have available.
“They’ll also have other needs, perhaps — food, whatever it’s going to be — the county will be there to back them up and to support them.”
(transcript ends at 6:40)
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
Judy Bruce is a Simi Valley Resident