Kudos to U-B reporter Sheila Hagar for her informative front-page article about public health in Sunday’s paper.

As a retiree of 36 years with the Walla Walla County Health Department, I have been shocked at the lack of respect many have shown for public health during this pandemic. It is our public health workers’ mission to protect the community by preventing and investigating threats to the public’s health and educating everyone how to protect themselves and others.

On the rare occasions when necessary the law allows enforcement of quarantines and other measures for the protection of the community. This is nothing new and has nothing to do with politics but long-established scientifically-based practice.

To question the motives of public health officials shows a lack of understanding of history, government, and the whole reason that we have governmental health agencies.

I hope that bringing the truth of our public health departments to light will encourage the public to trust and respect what they do for all of us.

Barry Jenkins

Walla Walla