Mask Threats

Public health officials across Michigan are saying they feel threatened in response to decisions to require masks in schools.

With public hearings in Kent and Ottawa counties lasting for hours over the use of masks in schools, public health officials say the debate has gotten out of hand.

“It’s a constant threat of violence,” said Linda Vail, the chief medical officer in Ingham County.

Vail is one of many appointed public health officials to receive threats of violence. She’s had intimidating letters sent to her home, and says she fears going out in public with her grandchildren because of the way she is treated.

Vail isn’t alone. A woman from Grand Blanc was arrested after authorities found what they call a “credible threat” on the life of a public health official in Genesee County.

Vail claims it’s due to the politicizing of the mask debate that it’s gotten so out of hand.

Joined by other public health officials, an organization called Public Health Over Politicians has issued a statement saying another coalition, Unlock Michigan 2, is responsible for creating a dangerous atmosphere.

Ron Armstrong, a spokesperson for Unlock Michigan 2, says those threats are completely unrelated to their coalition, and anyone who makes those threats does not represent their organization or views.

“That is absolutely wrong for anyone to make any kind of a threat against anyone, for any reason, or any decision that they make as a political or a health care official,” Armstrong said. “We absolutely do not condone anything of that sort.”

Armstrong says the goal of Unlock Michigan 2 is to impose a new check and balance to the public health officials. Last year, the original Unlock Michigan petition gained more than 539,000 signatures in 80 days. It was aimed at removing the governor’s ability to make sweeping emergency orders, and eventually played a role in the repeal of the 1945 Emergency Powers Act.

Armstrong says public health officials have been instructed by the state to issue mandates, but could not provide any evidence of this.

(4) comments

Lanivan

It's bad enough that these seemingly organized disruptors of public meetings are basing their arguments on misinformation, conspiracy theories, and myths, none of which are based on actual facts or medical scientific data.

The worst is that they aggressively show their ignorance and bullying for all to see and capture on video - their lack of civility or common courtesy, and especially the threats. All this over wearing a small mask that can help slow down the transmission of a virus that is proving to be very dangerous - deadly even - to unvaccinated children and teenagers who spend all day in close quarters with others, not to mention the staff. Hospital ICU's in many parts of the country are filling up with very sick children due to the spread of the new Delta variant and that not enough students are vaccinated.

All across the country, school boards are doing the right thing and not allowing these minority disruptors to force them to compromise student's health and safety.

We need to support these school board and public health officials every way we can. They don't deserve to be getting death threats because they are working hard for the welfare of their students.

ShiningLight

Wearing a Mask to stop the virus is like using a chain link fence to stop mosquitos!

K-family

And yet, the studies keep showing that masks are effective at reducing -- not eliminating, but reducing -- the transmissions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

revk8

Threats of violence should not be condoned, but maybe public health officials should get a clue. Enough is enough. Mask mandates don't work.

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