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Outrage over Dr Drew appointment to Los Angeles homelessness board sparks outrage

Dr Drew Pinsky has been nominated for a place on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, a commission of city and county elected officials.

His appointment by Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger sparked outrage and disbelief, as TV celebrity and drug addiction specialist Pinsky was outspoken in his belief that California has mismanaged the homelessness crisis. Some homeless advocates have gone so far as to believe that the all-too-real appointment was a joke.

Barger said Pinsky would bring a “new perspective” to the commission. Opponents retorted that he would promote damaging views.

Pinsky is no stranger to controversy, even beyond his television appearances. He once called Covid-19 a “press-induced panic” before stepping back and apologizing.

Dr Drew Pinsky acquired Covid-19 and is recovering at home

Mark Horvath, founder of the nonprofit Invisible People, questioned the appointment.

“Even on a superficial level, why (do you name) a famous doctor – and I use the term ‘doctor’ loosely – who has recent activity as a COVID denial?”

The commission that would have Pinsky has authority over budgets, funding, planning and programming policy for the homeless. His appointment is expected to be discussed at a Tuesday meeting of the Supervisory Board.

Pinsky, 62, expressed surprise that his appointment proved so controversial, given his long-standing work in the fields of mental health and addiction. He claimed that the main drivers of the homeless crisis in LA County are rooted in the lack of services for the treatment of mental illness and addiction, not in the lack of housing.

“Something is wrong at all and people are dying,” said Pinsky, who lives in Pasadena. “This is my biggest concern, and when I go out and talk to the homeless, I meet my patients, almost exclusively. This does not mean that this is all there is.

He added, “I don’t think most of the public understand what is really needed and the extent of the services needed” to solve the roaming problem, he said.

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