San Diego County

Panel of Doctors to Fact-Check Tuesday's Board of Supervisors Meeting

Pandemic-related policy changes announced at recent San Diego County Board of Supervisors meetings have made the news beyond Southern California, and so have fiery responses from policy critics

NBC Universal, Inc.

Fiery public comment sessions have become regular at Board of Supervisors meetings in San Diego County, with many speakers taking aim at the county's pandemic response and even the coronavirus itself.

As part of a mounting effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, which the county has already declared a public health crisis, the Board of Supervisors has invited a panel of doctors to fact-check Tuesday's meeting.

Click here for details on how to watch or listen to Tuesday's meeting.

NBC 7's Artie Ojeda shares clips of heated comments made by the public at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.

“You got to try to fight it,” Board Chairman Nathan Fletcher declared. “Look, I get we disagree on things; different values, different perspectives, different opinions, but so much of the debate today is just things that are objectively false.”

The panel will watch and listen to the meeting closely to supervisors or members of the public and report what they find on Wednesday.

In a White House briefing on Thursday, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy shared his new advisory on the dangers of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supervisor Fletcher has led a charge against misinformation on COVID-19 and the vaccine. Last month, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged San Diego County's first-of-its-kind anti-misinformation policy.

“What we are going to do is fight back and push back on information that is causing people to make decisions that is literally costing them their lives,” Fletcher said.

Tuesday's panel will be lead by the county’s Chief Medical Officer and will include doctors from Sharp, UC San Diego Health, Family Health Centers of San Diego, and Rady Children’s Hospital.

“All we’re trying to do is equip the public with better information, better sources of information, better context,” added Fletcher. “If there’s one person who listens to a doctor and makes an informed, medically relevant decision and it saves their life, then all of it’s worth it.”

After a 15-hour-long meeting with much opposition and heated remarks from members of the public, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 2 to declare COVID-19 misinformation "a public health crisis."

The chairman reiterated that public comment is still open and available to anyone.

“You can come down and curse, you can say offensive things, you can say untrue things. That’s all protected by the first amendment," he said.

At the same time, the County launched a website that looked to debunk any false claims about COVID-19.

Following the county's anti-misinformation declaration at a meeting in August, members of the public attacked the policy.

Comparing county supervisors to the Taliban, saying local leaders are “about to open up a pit of hell,” and describing public health officials as Nazis. To say last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting was contentious would be an understatement. The meeting lasted six hours and was filled with rants from community members on the county's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm a certified personal trainer, I studied nutrition and well-being at Cornell and Yale, and I'm also a Taurus so I know a little it about B.S.," one speaker said.

“You’re guilty of misinforming the public,” a woman said. “Trials will be held, you will be held accountable for your crimes against humanity.”

Contact Us