Did Barbara Ferrer rely on school mask mandate study co-authored by her daughter?
LOS ANGELES - Did Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer rely on a CDC-backed study on school mask mandates co-authored by her own daughter?
A reporter is sounding the alarm and suggests Ferrer's daughter Kaitlin Barnes did not disclose conflicts of interest in her study.
According to Jennifer Van Laar, managing editor of conservative news site RedState.com, a study showing that masking and other mitigation efforts in Los Angeles County schools were "highly effective" in slowing the spread of COVID-19 was written by Barnes and four other authors, but Barnes' relationship with her mother was never disclosed – even though Ferrer was listed in the acknowledgments section of the study.
Van Laar also questioned Barnes' credibility in the study, citing that she does not have a scientific background "or a Ph.D. in any field."
Van Laar's report comes just days before Los Angeles County is on the verge of becoming the only California County to reinstate its indoor mask mandate. If LA County remains in the "high" transmission category, the universal indoor mask mandate could return as early as July 29.
If the indoor mask mandate returns to LA County, Ferrer would be the only county health director in the state to reinstate the requirement.
RELATED: LA County nears indoor mask mandate as it enters 'high' COVID category
Following Van Laar's report, LA County Public Health issued the following statement:
"The study was conducted by multiple experienced Public Health infectious disease experts and epidemiologists, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education. It came to the same conclusion as dozens of other studies from around the world, which is that masks are effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Ferrer had no involvement in this study whatsoever. The research was led and carried out by respected DPH professionals and a partner agency."