State Health Officer To Leave at End of Year–COVID Pressure?
As soon as this announcement was made, many speculated it was related to the turmoil and issues over COVID. That was not acknowledged in the Washington State Department of Health information release, but the timing is interesting.
Earlier this year in May, it was announced that WSDOH Health Secretary John Wiesman would be leaving at the end of the year, this was during the early stages in the COVID Pandemic.
Now, Wednesday, it's been announced the state's "Chief Health Officer" Dr. Kathy Lofy plans to leave "later this year."
According to the release, Lofy's plans include:
“My only definitive plan after I leave the agency is to take a brief hiatus from my career to focus on being a mom, improving my health and reconnecting with friends and family.”
She said the decision was her own, and Gov. Inslee praised her for her work as the Senior Advisor to Wiesman. She filled that role from a medical aspect, as Wiesman is an administrator with -0- actual medical experience or training. Lofy often appeared in Inslee's press conferences, and served as the medical advisor for WSDOH policy, including COVID at times.
After six and a half years with WSDOH, she will vacate the position. One can only surmise that COVID had to play a role in influencing her decision. The WSDOH has been blistered throughout the COVID pandemic for it's inconsistent decisions, policies, reporting issues with cases; especially when it was learned they were counting non-COVID deaths as virus victims. This included six people who died from gunshot wounds who happened to test positive for COVID during their autopsies earlier this year.
No word as to who will be appointed to fill either Wiesman's or Lofy's positions.