Sacramento County Supervisors Kennedy and Serna to present resolution discouraging COVID-19 misinformation

Robert J Hansen
Sacramento County Supervisors Patrick Kennedy and Phil Serna.Public domain images and visualization by Robert Hansen.

Sacramento County Supervisors Phillip Serna and Patrick Dennis Kennedy are bringing a resolution committing the Board to share and promote information about COVID-19 obtained only from credible sources that publish information based on science on September 14.

The resolution says the Board of Supervisors will develop and support policies and strategies that protect the health and safety of its residents through the promotion of evidence-based interventions, including face coverings, vaccination and will actively discourage the spread of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation as it is a threat to public health.

Both Supervisor Kennedy and Serna have received some “terse” emails about the resolution, with some residents thinking the resolution is ordering them to do anything which it does not, according to Serna.

“Some are suggesting this is a way to brainwash and tell people how to think,” Serna said. “It’s about the Board of Supervisors and what we believe the facts to be.”

Serna feels strongly this is the right thing to do and that most people understand how dangerous misinformation can be, particularly during a pandemic.

Supervisor Kennedy said the resolution is, in part, a way to publicly support the County’s public health workers who residents have chastised for doing their jobs.

“They have taken a lot of heat at board meetings and unnecessarily have been villainized by members of the public,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy and Serna both have heard some residents spreading misinformation that jeopardizes the public's safety and has elongated pandemic restrictions.

“In large part, it has to do with people out in the community that unfortunately have engaged in what I consider to be a dangerous misinformation campaign when it comes to our response to the Covid-19 virus,” Serna said.

Serna hopes the resolution will be a reminder for residents to stay diligent in taking safety precautions and getting vaccinated and slowing the spread of misinformation that has contributed to needing restrictions longer than may have been necessary.

“I hope residents continue to take precautions as we come out of this pandemic which in my opinion is extending all the restrictions that all of us are very tired of,” Serna said.

Serna and Kennedy are not punishing Sue Frost, who recently attended an anti-vaccine protest at Kaiser Permanente.

“I think that her line of questioning and her attending certain events with the same individuals that have been spreading misinformation kind of speaks for itself,” Serna said. “I feel that it’s the right thing to do.”

Kennedy said he feels more comfortable basing policies based on medical doctors rather than conspiracy theories.

“If it ruffles some feathers, then so be it. It’s going to be an interesting meeting,” Kennedy said.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA

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