The director of California’s Department of Public Health resigned Sunday after the state announced its coronavirus cases had been undercounted due to technical errors, Fox News reported.
Dr. Sonia Angell submitted her letter of resignation after California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly revealed on Friday that 300,000 of the state’s coronavirus testing records had been backlogged, according to CBS San Francisco.
Ghaly said that the issue was caused in part by a July 25 computer system crash as well as the state government’s failure to renew a certificate for a data reporting service in a timely manner, CBS San Francisco reported. As a result, officials did not receive updated COVID-19 data for five days, causing distorted case numbers.
Angell did not state the reasons for her resignation.
Angell oversaw responses to widespread vaping, California’s wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to her resignation letter, which was provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation by the California Department of Public Health.
“Since January, when we got word of repatriation flights arriving from Wuhan, China, our Department has been front and center in what has become an all-of-government response of unprecedented proportions to COVID-19,” Angell said in the letter.
“Not one of our staff has gone untouched by the changes that have occurred. Not in our professional lives or our personal lives,” Angell added. “As the first Latina in this role, I am very proud to have served this Department, Administration and our State, alongside all of you.”
Angell had been the Director and State Public Health Officer since October 2019, according to the letter. Her resignation also comes as California has exceeded 550,000 coronavirus cases, Fox News reported.
Sharing news…I’m stepping down as @CAPublicHealth Director & State #PublicHealth Officer. What an honor to have served #California & @GavinNewsom through this #COVID19 #pandemic, where #science & #equity guide decisions. #CA flattened the curve before, and will do it again!
— Sonia Angell (@DrSoniaAngell) August 10, 2020
“I want to thank Dr. Angell for her service to the state and her work to help steer our public health system during this global pandemic, while never losing sight of the importance of health equity,” Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement provided to the DCNF.
Sandra Shewry was appointed Acting California Department of Public Health Director and Dr. Erica Pan took over as Acting State Public Health Officer on Monday, California public health officials told the DCNF.
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