Facemasks are a proven way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but some mask-haters are so selfish that they threaten to harm and kill public health officials who want to save lives with masks and stay-at-home orders. As a result, "more than a dozen public health leaders have left their jobs amid such harassment over their role in mask rules and stay-at-home orders," reports KHN. In an effort to protect its remaining health officials, the state of California "will allow public health officials to participate in a program to keep their home addresses confidential, a protection previously reserved for victims of violence, abuse and stalking and reproductive health care workers." From KHN:
A community college instructor accused of stalking and threatening Santa Clara health officer Sara Cody was arrested in late August. The Santa Clara County sheriff said it believes the suspect, Alan Viarengo, has ties to the "Boogaloo" movement, a right-wing, anti-government group that promotes violence and is associated with multiple killings, including the murders of a federal security officer and a sheriff deputy in the Bay Area. Thousands of rounds of ammunition, 138 firearms and explosive materials were found in his home, the sheriff's office said.
In Santa Cruz County, two top health officials have received death threats, including one allegedly signed by a far-right extremist group.
In May, a member of the public read aloud the home address of former Orange County health officer Nichole Quick at a supervisors' meeting and called for protesters to go to her home. "You have seen firsthand how people have been forced to exercise their First Amendment. Be wise, and do not force the residents of this county into feeling they have no other choice than to exercise their Second Amendment," said another attendee. Quick later resigned.