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Public health officials made over $500K while shutting down businesses, data show

Approx. 40,000 small businesses shut down in LA County

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Yudi Sherman

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August 02, 2022

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11:10 AM

Public health officials made over $500K while shutting down businesses, data show

Two public health officials in California made over half-a-million dollars while they were ordering stores and businesses to shut down during the pandemic with no scientific basis, according to data by Transparent California. The government employees pull in more than double the salary of California Governor Gavin Newsom. 

Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer, who issued some of the harshest restrictions in the U.S., also made more than any other public health director in the U.S. Ferrer pulled in $557,625 in 2021, though benefits bring the total up to $637,066. 

In 2020, when Ferrer first began shutting down L.A. County, she made $613,692, a significant increase from the previous year’s $585,134. 

In March 2020, Ferrer ordered what became a six-month lockdown, and then ordered another in December. But by September, nearly 40,000 small businesses had already been closed – more than any other state – with over half shut down for good. 

Though less than Ferrer, then-San Francisco Department of Public Health Director Grant Colfax also pulled in a hefty sum of $579,959 in 2020. 

By contrast, Governor Gavin Newsom’s total package for 2020 was $278,561. 

Ferrer came under fire last month for being seen unmasked at a crowded baseball game just after pushing masks on Los Angelinos. 

The public health official was also criticized last month after a report revealed an unreported conflict of interest involving her daughter, Kaitlin Barnes. 

In August 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report recommending that schools enforce mask, vaccine, testing, contact tracing, and social distancing mandates. The report claimed these restrictions were effective based on data from schools in the Los Angeles County Unified School District (LAUSD), the country’s largest.  

One of the authors of the report was Kaitlin Barnes, an employee of the Los Angeles County Office of Education. An investigation launched by a small underground group of LA moms discovered that Barnes’ mother is none other than Barbara Ferrer, who dictates LA County’s COVID-19 policies and mandates.  

The other authors of the report were Ferrer’s employees at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACPHD).  

This CDC report was used by mainstream media outlets – including the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, CNN and others to promote forced mask wearing and other restrictions in schools.  

More importantly, it was this CDC report that Barbara Ferrer used to justify mandates in schools until late March.  

Notably, Barnes’ report acknowledged Ferrer but did not disclose the link between her and her mother, raising questions about conflicts of interest. Ferrer has denied being involved. 

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