As the coronavirus raged across Boston over the holiday season, the medical director for the city’s [Boston’s] Public Health Commission was working 5,000 miles away in Hawaii.
Dr Jennifer Lo acknowledged this past week that city officials gave her permission to re-locate her family to Hawaii last November so she could care for her elderly parents. She plans to return to Boston this summer.
Lo is a contractor, not a city employee, and so not subject to the city’s you-gotta-live-here requirement, but that doesn’t mean her Medical Director duties didn’t need to be met in situ. Those are city needs, not phone ’em in tasks.
Thus, I have questions.
Why couldn’t her husband, alone or accompanied by the rest of her family, relocate to Hawaii to care for both sets of elderly parents?
If her parents were in such dire need, how is it that she can return to Boston so soon—and by coincidence, in Boston’s summer weather?
If Lo were serious about her concerns for her ability to honor her city Public Health Commission duties from Hawaii, why didn’t she go ahead and resign instead of merely offering to do so and seeing what the Commission would say? Related, had she precoordinated her offer so she knew what the commission would say?
There may well be serious, legitimizing answers, but they aren’t being articulated.