Remember in the spring, the pot-banging? People would come out on their porches in the evening to rally for the health workers — to say, collectively for just a minute or two, that we were thankful for the effort.
That spirit seems years away to Anna Halloran.
“There’s a large segment of the population that hates the health department right now, that thinks we’re lying,” says Halloran, a communicable disease epidemiologist in Spokane.
Halloran works for the Spokane Regional Health District, which recently fired its top health officer, Dr. Bob Lutz. He was sort of the Dr. Anthony Fauci of Spokane. And like the national Fauci, the Spokane one irked some politicians who felt the medical pros had gotten too meddlesome during the pandemic.
Lutz kept resisting a full reopening of the economy, cautioning that a surge of the disease was imminent. He was finally sacked earlier this month, and then immediately proven right — the number of cases in Spokane soared, from about 100 per day in early November to more than 400 per day several times this past week.
“There will be deaths that result from the Board of Health’s decision to fire Bob Lutz,” a Spokane physician told the local newspaper.