‘Is it worth it?’: New report lays bare harassment of public health officials during the pandemic

“I know it's my job to be out front talking about the importance of public health," one official said. "Now it kind of scares me."

There’s a mountain of evidence showing the devastating toll of the pandemic on health workers. Now, new research lays bare the brutal impact on their counterparts in public health.

To capture the experience of public health officials during the pandemic, researchers scoured data from a national survey of local health department workers and combed through media reports of attacks. They turned up nearly 1,500 different instances of harassment against public health workers between March 2020 and January 2021, and also found at least 222 public health officials left their jobs during that time frame.

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