In parts of the county public health officials have been threatened and harassed by the pretend-COVID-isn’t-a-problem brigade, but in New Hampshire they’re respected, perhaps because Gov. Sununu has made Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette and state epidemiologist Benjamin Chan part of his regular press briefings.
I’ve interviewed Chan a few times over the years for other issues – vaccination, mosquito-borne diseases – but not since COVID made him a star, and Shibinette is fairly new so I’ve never interviewed her.
The Monitor has a profile of both in today’s paper (read it here) which includes details about Chan’s discomfort with newfound fame:
The media attention, especially when it comes to his personal life, is never something he pictured for his career.
“Frankly, it’s uncomfortable,” he said.
For example, he recently cut his hair to make his 10-mile weekend hikes more bearable in the summer heat.
Not only did the public tweet about his haircut, but the governor loudly asked a room full of journalists at a live press conference if they noticed Chan’s short hair, which, of course, they did. Several reporters already asked him to confirm the rumor that he cuts his own hair (he does).