At this point, most market participants outside California know LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer as the public servant whose "miscommunication" Tuesday afternoon about a three-month extension to her county's stay at home order was blamed for reviving anxieties about the economic reopening in the US that helped hammer stocks lower last week. The good doctor - who, as it so happens, isn't a medical doctor, but the owner of a Ph.D in "Social Welfare" (whatever the f**k that means) - would like you to know she is truly sorry for the error, and the ensuing public furor she accidentally unleashed.
LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer
As we have been saying since the beginning of this outbreak, many of the public servants revered as virtually infallible by the "stay home, save lives" crowd (overly Democratic in political orientation) actually have few real qualifications. Dr. Ferrer isn't a scientist, or a medical doctor, and people who argue that we should simply stay inside forever because science often have little, or no, understanding of the current state of research concerning the virus. Because if they did, they would understand that not even the scientists have a great grasp of how to handle this. Given the far-reaching ramifications for society, it shouldn't be an extreme opinion to suggest that tackling this requires a multidisciplinary approach, because small oversights can have major consequences.
As for Dr. Ferrer, after apologizing for her "miscommunication" on Wednesday, she went on to reveal that, actually, the order would be expanded (though certain businesses are still being allowed to reopen) offering a seemingly contradictory explanation of the local guidelines and planned path forward that has left the entire county wondering what the hell is going on.
As KABC’s John Phillips shared on his radio show Wednesday, the good doctor's educational resume, according to a bio published at USC, where she was recently a panelist at a "Safe Schools" symposium, reveals she received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Brandeis University, a Master of Arts in Public Health from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz.
None of these disciplines are rooted in the sciences - rather, it appears the good doctor's "public health" background doesn't include any specialization in actual medical care, or epidemiology. This woman probably knows about as much as the discipline as the average Californian who has spent the last couple of months on Wikipedia.
However, as the LA Times reports, Ferrer has somehow found her way into a role where she is the top public health officer in a county of 10 million people. Keep in mind, she has no actual medical background, but despite this, she's found herself in the middle of "every tough conversation about which businesses and institutions have to shut down, whether public and private hospitals are equipped and prepared to handle a possible surge" and what precautions individuals can take to protect their health.
Her role for the county is essentially equivalent to that of Dr. Fauci at the White house. Except Dr. Ferrer isn't a doctor, she's a professional social justice warrior.
As Red State points out, when Dr. Ferrer was put in charge of solving the homelessness epidemic in LA County, her game plan 100% focused on "community outreach". "We need to start this work by speaking directly with those experiencing homelessness to better understand how to align our support," she said.
That's right: Dr. Ferrer's one-size-fits-all plan for solving homelessness started with talking to a demographic group where those with severe mental health disorders and substance-abuse problems represent an overwhelming share of the population. Dr. Ferrer's approach to help improve the lives of the homeless was to talk to a bunch of schizophrenics and drug addicts about government policy, as Red State pointed out.
Does this woman sound qualified to be one of a handful of people in the room making decisions that will impact the livelihoods and health of millions of people? If we lived in LA County, we certainly wouldn't be comfortable with that.