SANTA ANA, Calif.—After blocking Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) officials from joining Supervisor Katrina Foley’s countywide COVID-19 briefings—so as not to distract them from their routine duties—the Supervisors approved allowing the experts to join her briefings twice a month.
After a few weeks of holding the conferences without HCA experts, Foley told The Epoch Times she appreciated working in collaboration with health officials.
“I was pleased to be able to work with our County CEO and Health Care Agency to address concerns brought up by some of my colleagues and find a way forward,” Foley told The Epoch Times via email.
“These virtual briefings with county health officers and other experts have helped disseminate accurate health information, debunk myths, and answer questions from community members.”
Foley began hosting regular briefings on Aug. 13 with health officials while weekly press releases with updated COVID-19 county information were also published.
Supervisors Andrew Do and Doug Chaffee spoke out against the briefings, calling them an “abuse of power to use county executive staff to self-promote.”
“When we have updated numbers on COVID-19 posted daily, followed by weekly press releases and press calls by the County’s CEO team and our County Health Officer, taking county staff away from their jobs for private publicity events is not the most appropriate use of public resources,” Chaffee said in a Sept. 2 statement.
Foley held a COVID-19 briefing on Sept. 21 alongside OCHCA Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong. According to reporting by the Daily Pilot, Foley confirmed that an agreement had been reached with her colleagues after a dispute at the beginning of the month.
“I’ve been working with the CEO’s office and the Health Care Agency—that’s our compromise that we’ve come to,” Foley said, the Daily Pilot reported.
Chaffee’s office declined to comment on the recent change and Do wasn’t available for comment by press deadline.