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Opinion >  Letters

Put public health first

I am writing as a health officer (Okanogan County), chief medical officer (NATIVE Project) and as a Spokane resident regarding the potential termination of Dr. Lutz. Simply put, I believe it is misguided for a number of reasons and needs immediate re-consideration.

Dr. Lutz has been an exemplar of public health leadership. He is respected statewide as well as locally. I have sought out his guidance in terms of preserving the health of the community and see him as a role model for my work as a public health officer. I look to him and his excellent team to preserve the health of this community for the patients NATIVE Project serves. He has a stellar team that is wholly appreciated.

He is science-driven and follows CDC guidance. He has worked fastidiously to preserve health and preserve economic/educational realities. Our collective inability to follow masking and other recommendations is what has resulted in the pandemic perpetuating at the current level. Dr. Lutz is not stopping the economy — we are by not following his/CDC guidance. Being a public health officer is difficult now because of politics interceding with science. Science owns this discussion.

We are in a pandemic which is on an upswing. When you have good leadership, science-based, with an excellent team; it is misguided to give this up. Ultimately, Dr. Lutz has made this community safer than most. Our board of health has a societal obligation to protect our health first and foremost. Doing this is the most expeditious way to health and economic success.

John McCarthy, M.D.



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