Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting title=
Supervisor Peter Adam speaking to Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg during Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting
Reads 7727

By edhat staff

Supervisor Peter Adam attended his last Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday but not without a tense exchange with Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg over COVID-19 data.

After joining the Board of Supervisors in 2012 representing the North County's Fourth District, Adam chose not to seek a third term. He will be replaced by his chief of staff, Bob Nelson, who ran unopposed. 

As a fifth-generation farmer and part of the Adam Brothers Family Farm, the supervisor with the distinct mustache was often the minority conservative voice, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. His last meeting was no exception.

While the Public Health Department (PHD) provided its weekly COVID-19 status update to the Board on Tuesday morning, Adam raised questions over the county's data, specifically regarding false positives.

PHD Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso stated the most common false positivity range of the PCR test, which is a polymerase chain reaction that detects the virus’s genetic material, is 0.8%-4% with an extreme low of 0% and a rare extreme high of 16.7%. She stated the PCR test is currently the common testing method and is considered the best we currently have.

PHD Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg stepped in to further answer Adam's question and explained false positives are very rare in our area due to the low percentage of testing positivity rates. He stated if there is a concern that the positive results are inflated due to testing positivity that is not the case. The bigger concern, he said, are false negatives where someone tests negative but is actually positive and may unknowingly spread the virus.

Adam has been a vocal critic of the PHD's scientific data and presentations while throughout the pandemic has repeated incorrect statements about COVID-19, falsely compared it to the flu, and quoted sections of "The Great Barrington Declaration," an inaccurate document that numerous medical experts and scientists have called "ridiculous" and "very dangerous." 

"I just can't stand it when there's statements sprinkled in like 'the prevalence of disease in the community has an effect on the false positive rates,' because that just seems like it shouldn't work that way and if it works that way I'm questioning why," Adam said.

Dr. Ansorg then launched into a more detailed explanation of how false negatives and false positives work using specific examples when Adam started to laugh. 

"Why are you laughing sir? What is so funny about that?" Dr. Ansorg asked.

"Well it just seems to me if you have a test that works, it works," Adam responded.

Dr. Ansorg asserted that the test does work, and it works well as Adam says he doesn't know why he's reacting in such a way and tells him to relax. Dr. Ansorg explains he doesn't like being ridiculed when Adam then explains he's a human being that has reactions he cannot control and if something doesn't make sense he laughs.

Dr. Ansorg then re-explains that if you have 94 people who are likely negative and you test 100 of them, you're more likely to pick up false negatives than the likelihood of 5% of them to be positive.

"Ok well I'm just gonna have to accept that, thank you," said Adam.

The whole event can be viewed here approximately 56 minutes into the meeting. 

Following the conclusion of the COVID-19 update, Board of Supervisors Chair Gregg Hart stated he was concerned about the level of inaccurate information creeping into the dialogue and he encouraged everyone to go to the Public Health Department's website to find accurate and reliable information.

"This is a serious thing, this is not like the flu, like some people say," Hart said.

Supervisor Das Williams also stated this is a concerning virus that needs to be taken seriously whether one agrees with the protocols or not.

"I hope that regardless of whether you're on board with 100% of the framework or 0% of the framework or like most people somewhere in between, that you will continue to take the disease seriously, continue to take strategies that either adhere to it or practice harm reduction," said Williams.

COVID-19 Numbers as of Tuesday

Santa Barbara County reported 207 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and two additional deaths. Both individuals were 70+ years of age. One resided in Lompoc and one resided in Santa Maria. Neither had underlying health conditions and one death is associated with an outbreak at a congregate living facility.

There have now been 142 deaths within the county.

The grand total of countywide cases is now 13,763. Of those 1,059 are currently infectious with 78 hospitalizations including 20 in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Dr. Do-Reynoso confirmed the county has seen a 129% increase in active cases, a 127% increase in hospitalizations, and a 200% increase in ICU patients within the past two weeks. 

The increase is spread throughout the county with Santa Maria seeing the biggest jump, a 76% increase in COVID-19 cases.

The Southern California Region has an ICU capacity of 1.7% while the proposed Central Coast Region has a 35.7% capacity.

The county anticipates 3,900 doses of the Pfizer to arrive within the next few days and 6,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine pending FDA approval. Additionally the county is expected to receive nearly 3,000 more Pfizer doses next week.

More data and information on COVID-19 can be found at

Login to add Comments


Show Comments
dukemunson Dec 17, 2020 01:12 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Interesting article in the Independent titled: "Distance Learning Taking Toll on Santa Barbara Unified Students"

There is a rather notable quote via Public Health that basically echoes everything we've been saying about why schools should have been open!! Shame on Sholeh Jahangir...and EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT VOTED (and advocated on here) FOR HER!!!!

"“I come to you with data that I didn’t know until this morning and I wouldn’t know until ahead of time,” said Susan Klein-Rothschild with the Public Health Department. Klein-Rothschild was referring to the unpredictable turns of the pandemic and that recent data shows it is safe to open schools and that students are more likely to follow guidelines in school than out of school with friends.

And from what little has played out in Santa Barbara Unified so far, it appears true. There has been no COVID-19 transmission on any campus since small cohorts and athletics have been allowed to resume in person"

ChillinGrillin Dec 16, 2020 02:16 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Good riddance to Peter Adam. If our political system, especially the local GOP, wasn't so incompetent and screwed up I would Have thought Mr. Adam was a spoof character like Borat. I understand and agree with many conservative viewpoints. But I have no respect for obstructionist do-nothings like Supervisor Adam who have nothing to contribute other than their uninformed laziness. Hopefully he can have a good retirement posting on Qanon forums and dropping deuces on his crops. Buh-bye.

Lina24 Dec 16, 2020 01:30 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

I'm so glad he's gone. This exchange exemplifies how unfit for his position he was. Contrary to what he stated in defending his childish reaction, reasonable, mature adults can and do know how to control their reactions, that's part of what separates us from children and morons. It also exemplifies how ignorant he is when he admitted that the experts response made no sense to him.

Alexblue Dec 16, 2020 10:34 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Pete Adam is a do nothing contrarian dick and he always has been, he inherited his wealth and property from his family and still managed to create a poo-poo problem on his lettuce contributing to an E. coli outbreak which made 59 people in 15 states sick.

fitz Dec 16, 2020 10:32 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Good riddance to Peter Adam. This incident is just another reflection of his libertarian disdain for the rule of law. As he departs from the Board, he takes with him his arrogance and ill-preparedness. Adam brought nothing to the BOS, just more of the Andy Caldwell/COLAB divisiveness. He operated with a big fat chip on his shoulder, like the rest of his No. County conservatives. Whine, whine, whine about the 'elites' etc. He could say 'no' lots of times but rarely, if ever, did he bring constructive ideas. That's because he didn't read the reports and had his lackey Bob Nelson do all the work and all the writing. The numbers in the No. County are changing and soon these conservatives will lose their grip. It can't happen soon enough. Adios Peter. PS. I don't think Janet Wolf ever really 'liked' you........

Voice of Reason Dec 16, 2020 11:53 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Alex, wouldn't an "elite" whining and moaning about the issues "elites" are causing be better for the common folk than the "elites" who ignore the common folk (in their actions vs. their rhetoric, which full of for the people BS)?

Alexblue Dec 16, 2020 10:58 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Fitz--isn't it funny how many of the people whining and moaning about the "elites" are in fact elites themselves?

Peter Adam is a wealthy landowner who inherited his money and treats everyone else like they are idiots, classic behavior for a silver spoon type.

Beyond that, I will say that I agreed with his concern about deferred maintenance in North County.

PitMix Dec 16, 2020 03:33 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

VOR, my understanding is that initially they were undercounting Covid deaths by listing pneumonia as the cause instead of Covid causing pneumonia causing death. If you want to eliminate attribution mistakes from the data, why not focus on excess deaths? Last time I looked, excess deaths compared with this time last year were running about 100,000+ Covid deaths ahead of deaths last year. What do you attribute these excess deaths to? Quarantinis?

Voice of Reason Dec 17, 2020 10:22 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

SBGAL74, To think that "if only" Trump "rallied his followers" to do it we'd be in a different place now is simply not true. Here in CA people have been wearing masks and social distancing for months in CA, yet cases are still spiking and people are still dying. Plus Trump followers are few and far between here in CA so..... It's easy to blame others, blame Trump, blame those non-rule followers, because many people need a reason or scapegoat, but the only one to blame for the deaths is the virus it self.

SBgal74 Dec 17, 2020 09:55 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

Chemical- since VOR was on a tired rant about Newsom and downplaying the broader idea of deaths in the US and California not being out of the ordinary I was simply relaying the facts as I heard which illustrate that deaths are absolutely way out of the ordinary. For those who advocate that things are all open in SB when they are shut down in LA where the numbers are sky high we are inviting the devil to the dance. I hate that I can’t go out to restaurants for outdoor dining, that my good friend who owns a hair salon had to close yet again, that so many people are suffering, but there is no easy answer to this. More than anything I hate that we’ve had to lose 300,000 Americans to this virus in just 9 months. If anyone wants to complain about leadership it should be directed out the outgoing administration who mishandling if this from day one is absolutely inexcusable. Just think if he’d rallied his followers from the beginning to wear masks and social distance as a sign of patriotism and allegiance to him?? Can you imagine where we’d be?

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 16, 2020 06:34 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

SBGAL: 4 every single day??? Those are terrible numbers for LA!!! We are so fortunate that SB is not LA. Since this new surge in cases, beginning around November 1, SB County has recorded 17 deaths. That's 17 deaths in 45 days, which is 0.4 deaths/day if you generously round up. That's a full order of magnitude difference! Again, we're so fortunate that SB is not LA.

SBgal74 Dec 16, 2020 06:07 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

VOR- just stop with your BS non-sense. Just listen to the ICU physicians who are giving first hand accounts of what’s going on in the hospitals. NPR interviewed a Pulmonologist who’s on staff at an LA area hospital treating COVID patients in the ICU. He stated that typically they have and average of 3-4 “Code Blues” per week where patients don’t survive. Currently it’s averaging 4 EVERY SINGLE DAY from COVID. 3-4 vs 28 per week is a huge uptick in deaths! This doctor was talking about how the nurses are being stretched to the breaking point. He stands to gain nothing by making any of this up. What possible agenda can you possibly conjure up in your narrow mind? Give the conspiracy theories a rest already. I think the rational folks are all stocked up on this crap.

Voice of Reason Dec 16, 2020 02:01 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

It is a fact Pit. If someone dies and they tested positive recently (or post-mortem) they count that as a covid death, regardless of cause of death. Each week about 60,000 people in the US die (all causes). If everyone got the vaccine this week, 60,000 people will still die next week, and if they classify vaccine deaths the same as covid deaths, that's 60,000 vaccine deaths. Not saying covid isn't dangerous or that the vaccine is, just that numbers are being throw around by politicians and the media with out context. For example, I saw several headlines and Newsom himself talk about ordering 5,000 body bags. Really? About 750 people die each day in California normally, 140+/- now from(with) covid, and we're going to print and talk about the Newsome having to special order what is the equivalent of a 5 or 6 day supply of "extra" body bags. Here is a recent article about how two GUNSHOT victims we counted as coivd deaths. We are actively being deceived by our government!

SBgal74 Dec 16, 2020 07:44 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

What a jack hole this guy is. Glad he’s out! The bigger concern with testing accuracy is absolutely FALSE NEGATIVES. Especially in situations where people have telltale symptoms such as loss of smell and taste. I just heard yesterday of someone we know who’s elderly family member tested negative after experiencing cold like symptoms and loss of smell and taste. They then went and got on a plane and traveled across the country. We can’t rely on these tests to be totally accurate. I believe the false negative happens about 30%-35% of the time even with the PCR test. There are so many factors at play (was the test administered properly, on what day post exposure, how much viral load patients have on the given day, etc) The bottom line is: if you have COVID like symptoms then assume you have it regardless of the test results! Stay away from others for 14 days. While symptoms could be mild for you they could be deadly for the people you give it to.

Abellom Dec 16, 2020 01:15 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

“Essentially, false positive results are most likely to occur when the disease prevalence/incidence is low. False negative results become more prominent when the prevalence/incidence of disease increases.”


PitMix Dec 16, 2020 06:25 AM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

I tested negative for the antibodies 3 months after I had 7 out of 10 symptoms. My sisters and their husbands tested negative for antibodies after they had numerous symptoms. My grand nephew and his wife tested negative for Covid while they were really sick and had known exposure to a coworker who was positive and refused to wear a mask.

Whole lot of negativity going on.

RHS Dec 15, 2020 06:14 PM
Supervisors Discuss COVID-19 Update at Peter Adam's Final Meeting

I often find myself in sympathy with Adam but sometimes he is just too much Tea Party and Know Nothing for my taste. This is an example of that behavior. The people working to deal with this disease deserve respect, not ridicule.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.