Santa Clara County—Not S.F.—Was Ahead of the Curve with Public Health Mandate

S.F. Mayor London Breed has become the latest media darling to emerge during the coronavirus outbreak. Over this past weekend, an article in The Atlantic painted Breed as the Bay Area’s saving grace, preventing a COVID-19 crisis like the one now overwhelming New York City hospitals.

The article titled “The City that has Flattened the Coronavirus Curve,” credits the mayor of the City by the Bay for taking swift early action in declaring a local state of emergency and putting a halt to gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

What it fails to mention is who did it first: Santa Clara County Health Officer Sara Cody.

Despite living in San Francisco’s shadow, South Bay health officials were always one step ahead of Breed. In early March, they increasingly cracked down on large gatherings and removed fans at San Jose Sharks and Earthquakes games long before Breed had the chance to do the same with the Golden State Warriors.

When it finally came time to shut down the Bay Area in mid-march, Breed upstaged what was supposed to be a show of unity, leaving seven health officers—led by Dr. Cody—waiting for the mayor to wrap up her own news conference.

“I would say flat out, London Breed had nothing to do with it,” Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith tells Fly. “She didn’t comply with an agreement that the counties and cities had among their public health officers to do a specific press release at a specific time. The mayor of San Francisco decided to breach that agreement and act like she was the one who made the decisions.”

A spokesperson for Breed shrugged off Smith’s remarks, saying that the mayor’s “top priority has been protecting public health.”

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

25 Comments

  1. It’s interesting that everyone’s arguing about who should get the credit for a shutdown order that will end up causing more damage than the virus would have ever done. I’ll bet in a few months they’ll shift to pointing fingers at each other and trying to avoid responsibility for it.

    • Pete, would that be before or after the outbreak of violence that will result in curfews first, then martial law?

  2. Let’s indeed give credit to Dr. Cody for the Bay Area lockdown. But she offers no hope of ending it any time soon. In her interview last week, she said we’ll all continue to get Covid-19 until there’s a vaccine or we reach the herd immunity threshold of 60% or whatever.

    There are 2 million people in Santa Clara County. To reach the herd immunity threshold, most would need to be either infected or vaccinated. If 1,000 people per day were inoculated, that would take three years.

    • Vacancy Vaquero: We continue to get the annual seasonal flu despite there being a vaccine and nobody shut down the economy. COVID is just a slightly more virulent H1N1 virus, but Cody, Newsom, Breed, and Liccardo don’t want to let go of their new found power. There is little credible reason to keep everyone under house arrest for the time it will take to get a COVID vaccine approved, which won’t work any better than the regular flu vaccines. Waiting for a vaccine is just a way to keep government’s foot on our necks.

      • It’s time for Dr. Cody to ban smoking in Santa Clara County. According to the CDC,

        https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/index.htm

        almost 50,000 die in the U. S. from 2nd-hand smoking — 34,000 from heart disease, 8,000 from stroke, and 7,300 from lung cancer. And of course, 10x more die from 1st-hand smoking. Since Covid-19 is a respiratory illness, there’s a logical nexus between this pandemic disease and tobacco consumption.

        It’s inequitable for restaurants and bars to be closed and their employees unemployed while liquor stores continue to profit from tobacco sales which lead to death. Toxic cigarette butts are also deadly to wildlife and the #1 source of pollution on our beaches. Ban smoking now, at least until May 3.

        • Vacancy, the numero uno COD is the medical profession. Somewhere between 250,000 to 440,000 / year per Harvard Medical School researchers.

          Tough to be more precise due a combination of reasons. Doctors Bury Their Mistakes being one. Fear of medical malpractice charges (“let’s pretend the wrong meds were not administered”), poorly trained / incompetent coroners, and other factors.

          The medical lobby strongly opposes any investigation by National Institutes of Health or federal funding by others.

      • Thanks, JMO. There are certainly otherwise healthy, healthy individuals that have succumbed to COVID *and* seasonal flu The vast majority of fatalities have been those with severe underlying health problems.

        Pneumonia was the #1 cause of death in the early 20th century. Physicians termed it, ‘the feeble person’s friend’ because it ended suffering. Not until 1977 was an effective vaccine developed.

        COVID is listed as the Cause Of Death regardless of underlying health issues. An oxygen intubated, former 4 pack a day smoker, with diabetes, high blood pressure, and morbidly obese succumbs. COVID is listed as the COD if the deceased tests positive.

        It will probably be at least a year before researchers sample enough medical records to confirm, but sure looks like the response has been a vast and tragic over reaction at this point.

        If there’s any good news out of this, it shows how woefully unprepared we are for a large scale biological industrial accident or a germ warfare attack.

  3. Santa Clara County has been flat for 2 weeks. Medical system is under used. Could handle twice the hospitalization of twice as many COVID-19 patients. Time right now to open a few more businesses as “essential” and let out more working folks from the shelter in place. Remember recessions/depressions kill people.

  4. These stupid national media types don’t treat SJ as the 10th largest city in the country. They’re a complete bozo. SJ will always be referred to Frisco.

    • No matter how many people live in SJ John, it will always have a small town mentality. I have been here since 1972, and watched the population rise. But there has been no change in the hick town politicians.

  5. Shock News: Politicians can’t be trusted. Clearly Jeff Smith is deluded and has too much time on his hands if whining about Breed’s glory grabbing.

    SJ projects a $114M deficit that’s almost certainly to rise. Likewise, SCC will be facing budget challenges that will probably eclipse anything we saw during the Great Recession. Instead of responding prudently, Smith and the merry band of public money squanders at 70 W. Hedding, erected a hideous electric sign and ribbon atop the structure after issuing quarantine directives.

    Clearly an “essential” project while ordering comparable ones to cease.

    Signaling utter contempt for COVID restrictions, taxpayers, and energy conservation, both glare 24X7. Then there’s the enormous run-up in Smith’s staff’s headcount. And septuagenarian Assessor Larry Stone’s insistence to expose himself and everyone else to COVID by working at his office.

    But wait, there’s more. The County’s Office of Emergency Services was among the last to post anything about COVID. And still negligent in updating their emergency plan – which proved an utter failure based on the COVID experience.

    Rivaling their ineptitude is our Missing In Action sheriff. At long last COVID is mentioned on the SO’s broken website (Instagram images don’t render on all allegedly supported browsers). Gov. Newsom delegated a number of decisions to local sheriffs, but somehow a cabal of the County Attorney and Public Health Officer are in charge. It also begs the question of separation of duties and accountability by placing lower ranking unelected bureaucrats in charge.

    Yet convenient so the elected ones can blame them while Cortese and Chavez issue daily Kumbaya emails.

    Sadly we can predict the likely outcome. A grand jury investigation, some mewing responses, and business as usual.

    Unless we decide to show displeasure at the ballot box and with voter-led initiatives.

    • Sadly our snowflake/sheep voters will continue to re-elect the same Kumbaya crowd, Taxpayer. I’m glad I’m old, because I may not live to see the total destruction of this nation, turning it into the new Soviet Union, perhaps with a brief stop akin to socialist France.
      The US 1% will become the cousins of the Russian oligarchs. The local governments will continue to waste billions catering to the schizophrenic drug addicts living on the streets instead of rescinding LPS and getting them compassionate in house treatment, and the middle class will simply disappear.

  6. cody was recognized for her PR team only. Lipstick on a pig. Like all the other “leaders”, her medical predictions were way overblown, causing unnecessary hysteria that remains today, despite the fact that her orders are medically flawed and her predictions just haven’t come true.
    Cuomo remains the #1 Cicken Little, however. He predicted there would be 200,000 deaths in NY weeks ago. The death toll has barely passed 10,000. He begged for more ventilators and masks. Oregon sent him some. They weren’t needed. The hospital ship Confort he demanded remains practically empty. Huge errors, and the idiots in NY still give him an over 75% approval rating.
    We have even more idiots in California, who keep drinking Newsom’s Kool-Aid, despite numbers that are still way below annual seasonal flu deaths. More people die every year due to complications from smoking than have or ever will die of COVID 19. The economy is in the toilet, the Constitution out the window, and they want to curtail our rights even more.
    Cloth bandanas as masks? Seriously? Even the top mask is only 75% effective. And the sheep keep complying. What a pathetic nation we have become so quickly, led by California snowflakes.
    Then there’s Fauci, who stated early on in two separate press conferences that COVID is no big deal, just a stronger than usual flu. Then he did an abrupt reversal, and has progressed to saying people will never shake hands again. His predictions and advice change almost daily. He’s an narcissist who clearly loves being center stage, and is loathe to give up his spot, despite the fact that the only correct thing he has said is that COVID is just a somewhat more virulent form of the same old H1N1 that has killed mostly old and/or otherwise sick folks for decades.
    The Washington Post headline on January 20, 2020 called what we now call COVID19 the “Chinese flu”. No-one screamed racism, particularly not the press. Yet Trump calls it that same thing and everyone’s panties got in a bunch. It is the Chinese flu. The seasonal flus have all started in Asia every year, primarily China, followed by the Philippines. There is credible evidence that COVID 19 was developed and released by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Check out the Epoch Times excellent documentary on the subject on You Tube. It is meticulously researched and corroborated. The US State Department has argued against revealing the CCP connection. Only now has Trump reacted, by cutting off our funding of WHO, which is the lapdog of the CCP
    The move to make us all dependent upon government for our basics is well underway.
    Sweden has no “social distancing” and is doing just fine.
    None of the statistics on COVID deaths has revealed to the public what percentage of the deceased had underlying medical conditions. Birx issued an order that any death where the deceased had even the most tenuous connection to a COVID exposure must be listed as a COVID-caused death; which was clearly done to inflate the low numbers to prop up the fallacy of the manufactured crisis that is costing tens of millions of us our liberty. Shelter in place of an entire population has no legal basis. Curfews aren’t far off if the politicians have their way. Fauci already wants immunity cards. The snowflakes screaed against a photo ID in order to vote, yet they have raised no alarm over Fauci’s latest proposal.
    We have been conned. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    • We’re like Robert Shaw at the end of The Sting.
      He knew he’d been conned. But he couldn’t say anything.
      Personally I’m more scared of empowered, ambitious Democrat politicians than of any virus.

    • You watch vids from the Epoch Times, that disreputable, conspiracy-theory-spreading falun gong rag that is the biggest spender on pro-trump ads on FB? What are you gonna point us to next, the Russian Times? Geez.

      • Ha ha! Now it allmakes sense! Perhaps a bit of OANN for a change of pace too?? And what is the legacy media outlet(s) that Lyndon LaRouche left behind…? How he would be loving this!

      • > conspiracy-theory-spreading falun gong rag that is the biggest spender on pro-trump ads on FB? What are you gonna point us to next, the Russian Times? Geez.

        SCCRezzy:

        I’m not cheap. I like for the oligarchs to spend a LOT of money to influence me.

        The Russkies only spent a couple of hundred K to buy Facebook ads to get me to vote for Trump. AN INSULT! And stupid to boot! They bought the ads AFTER the election!

        I like Michael Boomberg’s approach better. $400 – $500 million to get me to vote the way Bloomie wants me to vote.

        Democrat oligarchs do a much better job of meddling in our elections than some pathetic, oppressed religious group on the other side of the world.

  7. Pretty pathetic when Jeffrey Smith (a political hack from Contra Costa county) accuses SF Mayor London Breed of politicking. Yeah, like you don’t, you special snowflake. Smith played politics in buying money-losing hospitals (really, to expand his power). When COVID hit, he thought: I can appear forward thinking and reserve space for the spike. Precious Sara Cody came along and struck down the economy: People lost their physical and mental health, went crazy because of her insane health orders. But, never mind, Jeffrey Smith will look like a genius, genius! for buying horrible hospitals. But, guess what: NO SPIKE in ICUs, surge bed usage, ventilators. It was all a bureaucratic overreaction to a virus that, yes, has a death rate, but does not justify the madness Cody has imposed on us all: Think about it: Childrens’ education interrupted, unemployment over 20 percent, you can kiss your downtown small business goodbye and stick to shopping at Amazon, Costco, Walmart from now on. All of society has changed, because Cody and her merry bunch of buddies (Council Greta Hanson, Smith, and other public health types) have a one-dimensional view of life and can’t grapple with the fact all of us weigh costs and benefits when we do anything. What is wrong with them? And what is wrong with the Board of Supervisors (Cindy Chavez, Simitian Wasserman, Ellenberg, Cortese) who let their hired bureaucrats get away with this nonsense.

    Congratulations Santa Clara: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RE-ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP. Live with this for the rest of your lives. You won’t suffer the consequences, but the less fortunate players in our economy will. And, you’ve soured an entire generation of people on decision-making by the public sector. I hope you can live with yourselves.

  8. > The article titled “The City that has Flattened the Coronavirus Curve,” credits the mayor of the City by the Bay for taking swift early action in declaring a local state of emergency and putting a halt to gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

    The only CREDIBLE reason put forward for any coronavirus “state of emergency” is to protect the healthcare system from being overwhelmed and collapsing.

    People becoming infected with COVID-19 is NOT a healthcare system emergency. People dying from SUSPICION of COVID-19 infection is NOT a healthcare system emergency.

    Treating people with COVID-19 infections or failing to save old, sick people from dying is healthcare system BUSINESS AS USUAL.

    Exploiting a common, everyday virus epidemic as a reason for commanding citizens to “shelter in place” is completely unjustified.

    Government ordered “sheltering in place” is just a polite term for “internment lite”.

    “Sheltering in place” is just “newspeak” for depriving citizens of freedom of association and freedom of movement.

    “Internment” is just depriving citizens of freedom of association and movement in a tent city provided by the government.

    London Breed and Sarah Cody can debate over who should get “credit” for the “Public Health Mandate” that put our society on the slippery slope of gutting the Bill of Rights.

    The real debate is going to be who gets the blame.

  9. If this is lifted on May 4th I will at least give our Governor and the SCC BOD the benefit of the doubt that they tried to do the right thing. If this goes beyond the 4th, or if they have some STUPID plan (which i suspect will be the case), then they should be held accountable in ever way.

  10. > Ahead of the Curve with Public Health Mandate

    Public Health Mandate?

    Does the Public Health Mandate require two police officers to shut down a pet grooming business operated by a “woman of color” working alone?

    https://almaden.chat/t/annie-is-shut-down-police-arrested-her-police-keep-us-safe-from-annie-a-hardened-criminal-not/42

    “Annie is shut down! police arrested her, police keep us safe from annie, a hardened criminal, not”

    What was the threat to “public health”?

    The bureaucrats have illegitimately claimed power based on a bogus “health emergency”. There is NO health emergency. The healthcare system is NOT collapsing. Sarah Cody still has hospitals, staff, and medicines to treat people the viral infections. It’s BUSINESS AS USUAL and there is NO BASIS WHATSOEVER for violating anyone’s civil liberties.

    Looks to me like Police Chief Eddie Garcia used his armed retainers to violate an American’s civil liberties.

    Where the hell is the useless “American Civil Liberties Union”?

    And, if the ACLU is just going to sit on their fat offshore bank accounts like the Southern Poverty Law Center, where the hell is President Trump, William Barr, and the Department of Justice?

    Chief Garcia, San Jose, and the State of California are violating the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by shutting down businesses based on false premises.

    Send in the federal marshalls, kick down some doors in Sacramento and San Jose, and perp walk Gavin Newsom and Sam Liccardo to the paddy wagons.

  11. WAIT! STOP THE PRESSES!

    Put the Nobel Prize for Sarah Cody on hold.

    This just in from ABC News:

    “The first large-scale community test of 3,300 people in Santa Clara County found that 2.5 to 4.2% of those tested were positive for antibodies – a number suggesting a far higher past infection rate than the official count.

    Based on the initial data, researchers estimate that the range of people who may have had the virus to be between 48,000 and 81,000 in the county of 2 million – as opposed to the approximately 1,000 in the county’s official tally at the time the samples were taken.

    A critical question in the path towards the future is how many people actually have protective novel coronavirus antibodies and possible immunity? Two research teams in California – backed by armies of dedicated volunteers – set out to answer this very question and the first set of results are in.

    “Our findings suggest that there is somewhere between 50- and 80-fold more infections in our county than what’s known by the number of cases than are reported by our department of public health,” Dr. Eran Bendavid, the associate professor of medicine at Stanford University who led the study, said in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.”

    WHAT?!

    “Between 50 and 80 fold MORE infections in out county than what’s known by the number of cases than are reported by . . . ” Sarah Cody?

    GIMME THAT NOBEL PRIZE BACK!

    Oh, and delete all those stupid press releases. You should be embarrassed, Sarah.

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