By Velena Jones

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — California’s first recorded COVID-19 death, intense political pressure, and physical threats. All of those events happened just months after Dr. Aimee Sisson took the job as Placer County’s Health Director.

“I don’t think there is going to be a bigger public health crisis,” explained Sisson. “I think what the state failed to appreciate was the amount of political pressure on local health officers.”

Her health orders, seen as strict by some, were challenged and even made her a target for threats.

“Some are vague and veiled. I’ve received at least one that called for physical harm to me,” she said.

As the county health officer in a politically conservative area, Dr. Sisson says it was when the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rescind their emergency health order in September, claiming herd immunity was a better strategy, she decided it was time to leave.

READ MORE: Dr. Aimee Sisson, Placer County’s Public Health Director, Submits Her Resignation

“Understanding where your own limitations are…where I would say that is not an acceptable compromise that would violate my integrity, and knowing that, is the time to walk away,” she said.

Sisson said she has seen politics and science collide through the public and local politicians’ response to the pandemic.

“We aren’t all working from the same set of facts and I think that makes it very difficult to convince people of truth when they seek alternate sources of their own,” Sisson said.

While other county officers have retired or quit, Sisson who’s now leading Yolo County’s response to the virus, says that was never an option.

“It’s more of a calling than a job,” she explained. “This is what I want to do. I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be.”

Sisson said the biggest lesson the state has learned was that it re-opened too soon. As we approach the second wave with most counties in the restrictive purple tier, Sisson believes the state’s rollbacks are essential to moving forward.

“We have a light at the end of the tunnel now and I think for the public to realize we don’t have to do this forever but we do have to keep doing this now,” Sisson said.

Yolo County is one of the few counties that impose fines for businesses that do not follow health orders. They have only issued around four. Sisson said that’s because the area is largely following the rules. For those who don’t, she says, an educational approach has been more effective.

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Velena Jones

Comments (5)
  1. Auburn Guy says:

    If masks can stop an ultra microscopic Covid droplet then my underwear can stop the smell of a fart.
    This 8 month charade has gone on long enough.

    Ever wonder why there is no green tier in dictator Newsom’s color palette? Think about that.

    The hospitals have NEVER even come close to being overwhelmed. EVER.
    If you are under 75, you have a 99.8% cure rate if you contract Covid.

    The destruction of our society through these dictatorial rules in the form of increased mental health issues, joblessness, multi generational family businesses being shut down, spousal and child abuse, complete loss of religious freedom to worship how and where you wish, and lack of childhood development due to school closures isn’t even considered.

    The suicide rate is higher than the Covid death rate in Placer County and not a peep about that.

    Remember “15 days to flatten the curve”? It’s clear the “people in charge” have never had a clue how to address the virus. One word: Sweden.

    Next move: They will determine that due to their protective measures, deaths from the seasonal flu have almost disappeared, and therefore masks will be required at all times. It will start in public buildings and spread from there

    Next move after that: Massive political revolt on constitutional grounds.

    1. Karen and Darren Boot Licker says:

      Put on a mask and muzzle your mouth. We dont care about your kooky conspiracy theories. So what if the tests are fake. So what if the death certificate reporting has been changed. So what if covid has never been isolated in a lab. So what if the reporting numbers are fixed. So what if the books are cooked. So what that covid only harms people with comorbidities. So what if the CDC said only 9210 people died actually ONLY from covid. So what if science is not an exact discipline and changes all the time. So what if masks increase respiratory illness. So what if the economy will be crushed. So what if child hunger, suicides, alcoholism, overdoses, domestic violence, unemployment and poverty will rise. So what, nobody cares about your conspiracy theory. We obey it all because the television, social media and experts say so. I trust them, they have never lied to us and you should believe them too and not your lying eyes or your critical thinking mind.
      Put on a mask and muzzle your mouth, a hat on your brain and a blindfold on your eyes and obey.
      The ovens are actually tanning beds, the experts told us so.

    2. No Kool Aid says:

      “We aren’t all working from the same set of facts and I think that makes it very difficult to convince people of truth when they seek alternate sources of their own,” Sisson said.

      Absolutely, you are a paid shill who is brainwashed and under a demonic spell. We research pubmed, NIH, medical journals, microbiology and dont watch TV, listen to propaganda, or listen to the “experts” like you. The pandemic is fake. There never was a pandemic and all of the propaganda in the world cannot change that. Corona virus is a common cold virus.

      “There are lies, damn lies and statistics.” Mark Twain.

      “Its easier to fool people, than to convince them they have been fooled.” Mark Twain.

  2. Math Matters Scott says:

    This article is so wrong on may places! the Placer County Supervisors never “claimed herd immunity was a better strategy” – Her speaking out shows her immaturity & political bias. The emergency order could not and should not have remained based on any science or math. It is what it is, math matters. Implementing emergency orders is designed for very specific purposes, the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) gets it. Her personal bias, emotions & politics seemed to lead her more than what might be best for the county. Yeah we could shut everything down every flu season, or ever time there is a new virus around – but that is not realistic. Issues like COVID are very dynamic, and ever changing a breakout in Roseville should not impact Tahoe. She homogenized and generalized, further she misrepresented, omitted or otherwise was not fully transparent and forthcoming with vital data – data the BOS had to work hard to get, for which should have been readily known and presented. All that said, she should have taken the high road agree or not, her ugly actions now just show that Placer is better off without her, and Yolo better beware. Further News 13 and others, how about some balance and perspective – this one-sided hit piece just highlights the ugliness with media these days, not telling the whole story. She does not stand on some higher platform – her “calling” seems to give her a self appointed righteousness that just does not exist in reality – I wish she was more open minded to opinions & science that may not fully agree with her! I will not go into her failures to address COVID problems in parts of Roseville and Lincoln, or failures on mental health issues… but again the numbers are there for people to find.

  3. DarrenLovesKaren Boot Licker says:

    @Math Matters Scott—-That’s it, we’ve had enough of your logic, your conspiracy theories. Put on a mask, muzzle your logical mouth and hide under your bed with hand sanitizer. Fauci is right and you and your “math” are wrong. Math is a conspiracy theory. We want to be victims, we want to be in need of sympathy, we want our hypochondria, we want the authorities dictating our lives, because thats what we have to do. If we have to destroy the entire society to save one life it is worth it. I trust them and you should obey blindly just like the rest of us. Covid supersedes math and we live to fear it, it gives meaning to our otherwise trivial lives. Put on a mask to muzzle your mouth, a hat for your Math and a blindfold so you cant see what is being done to you Mr. smarty pants. Masks Rule and you better wear one to symbolize your submission, or else.

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