Santa Cruz Health Officials Honored for Persevering in Covid Battle Against Tide of ‘Denialism’

Two California public health officials who pressed forward with aggressive measures to contain covid-19 even while enduring death threats and harassment will be honored with the 2021 PEN/Benenson Courage Award from PEN America, the group announced Friday. Mimi Hall and Dr. Gail Newel, health director and health officer, respectively, for Santa Cruz County, California, will be honored Tuesday at the PEN America Literary Gala in New York City. Newel was one of the first officials in the nation to institute a shelter-in-place order at the beginning of the pandemic, and under Hall and Newel, Santa Cruz has experienced some of the lowest covid case rates in the country, as well a...

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