Paul LePage is back from Florida and wrote a letter calling for more transparency of information from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“Mainers need more COVID data from state,” May 24).

This is the same man who refused to identify the schools having outbreaks of pertussis. It would have been nice to know if that infectious disease was active in my practice area.

The letter offers advice about public health information. Yet LePage appointed several directors of the CDC with little or no training in public health and some without any medical training credentials at all. Luckily the Maine CDC is now led by Dr. Nirav Shah, who is well trained in public health and a great communicator.

LePage’s letter talks about the importance of test results and contact tracing. But under LePage’s leadership the state public health lab had its budget cut and staff reduced. This became a problem in our current infectious disease outbreak. The public health nursing system was devastated, dropping from 50 nurses to 16. When the Legislature passed a law (with funding) to restore those positions, his administration did not comply. Public health nurses are frontline in contact tracing.

And what about all the Freedom of Information Act requests that were submitted to his administration but never fulfilled? And he wants more transparency?

We welcome this tourist from Florida who is visiting us this summer in Maine, but his recent letter is a bit hypocritical.

 

Roy Miller, M.D.

Somerville


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