Public health officials face wave of threats amid coronavirus response
White House Coronavirus Task Force Response Coordinator Deborah Birx delivers remarks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) update briefing Monday, April 20, 2020, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo Andrea Hanks)

Emily Brown was stretched thin.As the director of the Rio Grande County Public Health Department in rural Colorado, she was working 12- and 14-hour days, struggling to respond to the pandemic with only five full-time employees for more than 11,000 residents. Case counts were rising.She was already at odds with county commissioners, who were pushing to loosen public health restrictions in late May, against her advice. She had previously clashed with them over data releases and had haggled over a variance regarding reopening businesses.But she reasoned that standing up for public health principl...


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