California State Health Director Resigns After Criticizing Anti-Vaccine Activists on Facebook

Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, is seen in her official photo from the agency's website.

Jennifer Kent, director of the California Department of Health Care Services, is seen in her official photo from the agency’s website.

A top healthcare official in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced her departure Tuesday, with the timing of her resignation sparking questions about whether it was related to a Facebook post she shared criticizing vaccine bill protesters and calling them “flat-earthers.”

Jennifer Kent, director of the state Department of Health Care Services, announced in a letter to staff Tuesday that she was resigning from the post, which she has held since 2015. Newsom’s office declined to say why Kent stepped down, but her resignation follows a post she made Monday on her private Facebook page about vaccine bill opponents, a screenshot of which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times and others in the Capitol community.

“The Capitol is filled with a bunch of flat-earthers today,” Kent’s post said before referencing the large bear statue outside the governor’s office that is often jokingly referred to as “Bacteria Bear” because so many statehouse visitors touch it.

“My poor sweet Bacteria Bear is dripping with unvaccinated booger-eater germs,” Kent wrote before using two hashtags: “#believeinscience” and “#vaccinateyourgoddamnkids.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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