Orange County DA Lashes Out Over Vaccine Wait for Police

January 8, 2021 Updated: January 8, 2021

As Orange County continues to roll out its vaccine strategy, its chief prosecutor is calling on county officials to give greater priority to police.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer accused the Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) of not “prioritizing front line law enforcement… for first tier vaccinations,” in a Jan. 6 email to the HCA and Board of Supervisors.

“It should be your agency and the Board of Supervisors which dictate prioritization of the vaccine in Orange County,” Spitzer wrote. “I also learned that dentists jumped over police as a priority by the vaccination taskforce, an unbelievable development.”

Spitzer implored the “HCA to get its head screwed on right and properly prioritize those who constantly and through no choice of their own interact with the public—healthcare workers and police—just like the HCA has done for firefighters.”

He said in the letter: “This is an urgent matter that has been overwhelmed by bureaucratic red tape and quite frankly, utter nonsense.

“I cannot believe the misguided direction of this task force.”

HCA director Dr. Clayton Chau said his agency looked to higher government for direction when implementing a strategy.

“It was following guidance from the federal as well as the [state’s vaccine plan],” Chau told City News Service.

Dentists have been placed by the state in Phase 1A Tier 3, while police are in Phase 1B Tier 1, but that could change, Chau said.

“Because of the recent eruption in cases in correctional facilities, we have asked our vaccine taskforce for approval to move up the law enforcement teams in the correctional setting even though only correctional medical providers are part of Phase 1A Tier 2.”

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said that Spitzer is blaming the wrong entity.

“[He is] completely wrong by bringing the Board of Supervisors into the discussion,” Do told The Epoch Times. “The decisions are made by the health officer, Dr. Chau…The Board of Supervisors has no role in it.”