California Officials Fault CDC Data for Overstating 'High Risk' Counties

California Officials Fault CDC Data for Overstating 'High Risk' Counties

California officials are pushing back on a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that indicates that half of California’s 58 counties are still “high risk” for coronavirus, saying the number is 19 and the CDC was using old data.

The data have implications for whether counties are allowed to join the state’s overall policy dropping indoor mask mandates.

CalMatters.org reported Wednesday:

Federal health officials who reported that nearly half of Californians live in “high-risk” counties for COVID-19 were relying on old data, and only a small number of counties now fall into that category, according to local officials.

At stake is whether counties considered high risk should keep indoor masking requirements under new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or follow the state’s lead in removing nearly all mask requirements.

The federal agency on Friday released a map showing that more than half of California’s 58 counties, and 49% of its residents, fell into the high-risk category using … three metrics.

But a CalMatters analysis of state data detailing the first two criteria suggests only 19 counties, home to 5.8 million people or 14% of the population, should be considered high risk under the CDC’s thresholds and therefore are advised to keep indoor mask mandates.

The CDC has been criticized frequently for faulty data and politically-inflected health guidelines throughout the pandemic.

Los Angeles County recently announced that it is dropping its mask mandates for children in school, but the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union said it will oppose dropping masks in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) schools.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Joel B. Pollak