SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California’s Public Health Director quit over the weekend, after questions about the state’s coronavirus test data.
“These things are unfortunate but we are moving forward,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom during a press conference Monday.
The governor skirted questions about why Dr. Sonia Angell resigned from her job as Director of Public Health. It’s a position she held for less than a year. The governor would only go as far as to say he “accepted her resignation.”
“She resigned, she wrote a resignation letter and I accepted her resignation. We are all accountable in our respected roles for what happens underneath us,” he said.
Last week the state confirmed between 250,000 and 300,000 records were not processed through their computer system, which gives local officials COVID-19 test results on a daily basis.
All of this was discovered after the governor made public comments last week, saying the state was making progress and the numbers were lower than expected. Administration officials say they did not know the extent of the problem when those comments were made.
But CBS13 heard differently and asked Newsom about it.
In response, the governor said, “It’s absolutely true, and that’s why we’re here and as transparent as we can be. Dr. Ghaly is now making some of those personnel announcements.”
But after he was repeatedly asked by the press corps, the governor wouldn’t directly say the reason behind the resignation.
CBS13 Political Analyst Gary Dietrich says the governor said enough to connect this data glitch to Dr. Angell’s resignation.
“The Department of Public Health Director had accepted personal responsibility. He said by me accepting her resignation, that pretty much tells you everything you need to know,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich says reporting the correct data is crucial, and now this problem falls on our local counties’ public health departments.
“Getting that information right, is job ‘one’ and they felt like they needed to make a change and of course they did,” Dietrich said.
Dr. Angell’s position will now be split by two people, Dr. Erica Pan and Sandra Shewry. Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services Secretary, says a full investigation is underway into that data glitch.