East Bay doctor removed from position after questioning stay-at-home orders

An East Bay doctor is calling for more dialog surrounding the lockdown in Contra Costa County. He and others are concerned the shelter-in-place orders may be doing more harm than good.

A letter questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns in Contra Costa County has led to unforeseen consequences for Dr. Michael deBoisblanc.

"Some of the county lockdown measures like keeping our kids out of school, really has proven to be safe. And that was the main reason we drafted this letter," he said.

deBoisblanc, along with doctors Pete Mazolewski and Brian Hopkins wrote of their, "deep concerns regarding more lockdown measures…The science is clear," the trio said in the multiple page letter, "that more lockdowns lead to much more non COVID morbidity and mortality…Public policy is being based on erroneous assumptions..."

"We’re worried some of the actions the county and government is taking, can definitely have negative impacts on the public health," said Dr. deBoisblanc.

deBoisblanc’s career experienced an almost immediate negative impact once the letter went public. He had been the Trauma Medical Director for John Muir Health. But Friday, John Muir sent a statement which read in part, "The Medical Director of Trauma and Regional Transfer Services is a contracted position and, after careful consideration, John Muir Health is not continuing with Dr. deBoisblanc in that position.

The county health department sent an email critical of the doctor’s questions, and at least one member of the Board of Supervisors is pushing back.

"All of these orders have been based on strong science and good data," said John Gioia, the 1st Dist. supervisor for Contra Costa County. "They are citing data that our health department believes is not reflective of accurate current thinking."

There’s a section in the letter where the three doctors question using low ICU occupancy rates as a metric, for shutdown. They say those occupancy rates are routinely low. deBoisblanc admits that was worded poorly, ruffling feathers. Still there are others saying there should be more transparency surrounding the data used to trigger shutdowns.

"That only engenders trust and leads people to understand why we’re making these decisions and why we need them to behave in certain ways," said San Francisco Dist. 6 Supervisor Matt Haney.

Tuesday, he will introduce an ordinance at a special board meeting calling for full transparency of the data behind the business shutdown decisions.

"We felt these were important questions that the people who are affected by these measures deserved answers to," said Dr. deBoisblanc.

Three doctors in Contra Costa County are now doing mental calculus, after raising questions brought more than just simple answers.