Top California Public Health Director Suddenly Resigns

California's Department of Public Health Director has suddenly resigned...

The move comes after several days of scrutiny over state errors that led to thousands of backlogged coronavirus tests. Although, in a letter to colleagues, Dr. Sonia Angell didn't specifically mention her reason for stepping down less than a year into her job.

Scroll down to read her full resignation email.

The glitch left local health officials in California scrambling to figure out the actual number of cases in their regions last week. (You can read more about the glitch HERE.)

In a statement on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom thanked Dr. Angell for her service:

"I want to thank Dr. Angell for her service to the state and her work to help steer our public health system during this global pandemic, while never losing sight of the importance of health equity."

Her resignation comes as California is dealing with a summer surge of COVID-19 cases.

See Angell's full email to staff below:

Dear California Department of Public Health Colleagues,

Since I joined this Department as Director and State Public Health Officer in October 2019, we have been responding to emergencies, from E-cigarette and Vaping Associated Lung Injury, to the Public Safety Power Shutoffs and wildfires, and now to a global infectious disease pandemic. We have done all this, even as we have continued to deliver on the Department's core public health functions. It is with deep appreciation and respect for all of this work that I share with you my own plans to depart from my position, effective today.

Since January, when we got word of repatriation flights arriving from Wuhan, China, our Department has been front and center in what has become an all-of-government response of unprecedented proportions to COVID-19. Not one of our staff has gone untouched by the changes that have occurred. Not in our professional lives or our personal lives.

You have all stepped up to the calling. Some have done so by shifting your entire portfolio to emergency efforts, others of you have kept our State's core public health work moving forward. Each and every one of you has been essential, because we know that in the final calculation, health is not defined by one condition, disease or experience. In the final calculation, all of our work, in aggregate, makes the difference.

I remain consistently impressed and humbled by the expertise, commitment, passion and kindness demonstrated by all of you daily. We have led with science and data, and with equity at the core of our intentions. As the first Latina in this role, I am very proud to have served this Department, Administration and our State, alongside all of you.

Through Secretary Ghaly and our Department's Chief Deputy Directors, Susan Fanelli and Brandon Nunes, plans are in a place for a smooth leadership transition.

In Solidarity,


Sonia Angell, MD MPH

Read the full story on FOX 11 Los Angeles.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content