LA County steps waaaay over the line of ethics, and goes straight to discrimination.
The Los Angeles County Mask Order is either blatantly discriminatory against disability, or backed by medical evidence, which would indicate that the entire medical community (at least the ones that came up with this highly inflammatory accusation) is biased against disabilities.
Here is the portion I speak of:
“Based on the current evidence, a person with one or more of the medical conditions listed below is more likely to get very sick (more likely to be hospitalized, need intensive care, require a ventilator to help them breathe, or die) from COVID-19. The underlying medical conditions associated with high risk severe COVID-19 include: Cancer, Cerebrovascular disease, Chronic kidney disease, Chronic lung diseases (Interstitial lung disease, Pulmonary embolism, Pulmonary hypertension, Bronchiectasis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)), Chronic liver diseases (Cirrhosis, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Alcoholic liver disease, Autoimmune hepatitis), Cystic fibrosis, Diabetes mellitus, type 1 and type 2, Disabilities (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cerebral Palsy, Congenital Malformations (Birth Defects), Limitations with self-care or activities of daily living, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Spinal Cord Injuries), Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), Mental health disorders (Mood disorders, including depression, Schizophrenia spectrum disorders), Neurologic conditions limited to dementia, Obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2), Primary Immunodeficiencies, Pregnancy and recent pregnancy, Physical inactivity, Smoking (current and former), Solid organ or hematopoietic cell transplantation, Tuberculosis, and Use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive medications.” (emphasis added)
If I lived in LA, I’d write a letter to the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH), and ask for the data that proves that these highlighted conditions cause a person to be “more likely to get very sick (more likely to be hospitalized, need intensive care, require a ventilator to help them breathe, or die) from COVID-19.”
I demand to know who authored this data, and how having a mental health condition in any way increases the likelihood to “get very sick” “or die from COVID-19.”
Let’s be candid. This is bullshit, and it’s intimidating, which invokes the ADA, because the ADA, Title II, specifically 28 CFR §35.134(b) states:
“No private or public entity shall coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by the Act or this part.”
Individuals in LA County with mental health issues are arguably ALWAYS trying to exercise and enjoy equal access to the programs, services, and activities of LA County. This includes equal access to the the programs, services, and activities of the DPH.
For the DPH to issue this order is an implied (veiled) threat, because they could say that anyone with a “mental health disorder” needs to be quarantined - “because COVID-19”…
I’m not discounting that the other disabilities could also be equally threatened, but there may be a plausible health-related (non-mental health) reason that there is an increased risk for these others, but I doubt it.
If you have a “mental health disorder”, what’s to stop the DPH from issuing a quarantine order for you, based solely on this wildly implausible claim?
Either the DPH has certified data to back this up, which is also problematic, or they’ve just set up a future play, in my opinion.
Either way, if I lived there, I’d ask. If there is someone who lives there, and wants me to ask as an ADA Advocate, and yank the immunity rug out from under their feet, reach out.
adarights (at) protonmail (dot) com.
P.D., JAY V SHORE, as Certified ADA Advocate