Latest California Healthline Stories
Rural Mendocino County had finally figured out its vaccination program. But now the community clinics that helped make it happen are changing course as Blue Shield of California takes over the state vaccine program.
Insurance giant Blue Shield of California has made millions in charitable and political donations to Gov. Gavin Newsom over nearly two decades, largely to his dearly held homeless initiatives. In turn, Newsom has rewarded the insurer with a $15 million no-bid contract to lead the state’s covid vaccination distribution.
In California, the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history is run largely by the same overworked and underfunded local health departments tasked with covid-19 testing and contact tracing. It’s a daunting undertaking as the pandemic continues to surge.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in July that California would target businesses that flagrantly violate public health orders. But the state’s strategy of education over enforcement means that businesses that don’t comply face few — if any — consequences.
At least 181 public health leaders in 38 states have resigned, retired or been fired amid the turmoil of the pandemic. The departures come as backlash against public health is rising with threats to officials’ personal safety and legislative and legal efforts to strip their governmental public health powers.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded a confidential address program to public health officials in the wake of ongoing threats made against them tied to pandemic safety precautions such as masks and stay-at-home orders.
This pandemic is like war, and California’s local health officers are leading the state’s response. Yet unlike war heroes, who are lionized, they are facing unprecedented attacks and death threats.
Counties say the ripple effects of the state’s COVID-19 data failures are impeding their ability to slow the spread of the coronavirus, even as they must make life-or-death decisions about business and school reopenings.
Health departments and other public agencies tasked with protecting the nation from disease-carrying mosquitoes are overstretched amid the coronavirus pandemic — even as the nation is told it’s safest to be outside.
The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources necessary to confront the worst health crisis in a century. An investigation by The Associated Press and KHN has found that since 2010, spending for state public health departments has dropped by 16% per capita and for local health departments by 18%. At least 38,000 public health jobs have disappeared, leaving a skeletal workforce for what was once viewed as one of the world’s top public health systems. That has left the nation unprepared to deal with a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million people and killed more than 126,000.