Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

St. Louis-area health official decries 'lunatic fringe'

  • 0

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — An email in which a suburban St. Louis public health official urged staff to ignore the “lunatic fringe" as they work to combat the COVID-19 virus is sparking outrage from some elected officials.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dr. Faisal Khan, the acting St. Louis County health director, also used Tuesday's email to encourage health workers to continue to take precautions ahead of an expected rise in cases following holiday gatherings.

“Please," he wrote, “ignore the lunatic fringe that exists in every society. They were there one hundred years ago and will likely be around 100 years in the future. They are irrelevant fools.”

By Wednesday, Khan’s email was circulated online by critics of public health measures, including some of the people who have appeared at County Council meetings in recent weeks to oppose a county requirement that people wear masks in public and on public transit. The mask order is currently under a legal challenge.

Councilman Tim Fitch, a Republican who has voted against mask requirements, forwarded the Khan email to news media Wednesday after a health department employee sent it to him. Other employees, he said, had called him to say it was “inappropriate.” He told department staff that he was “stunned" by Khan's email. And Council Chair Rita Days said Khan’s email was “irresponsible.”

Neither Khan nor a spokesperson for the Department of Public Health responded to requests for comment by the Post-Dispatch.

The email controversy comes four months after Khan made an obscene gesture at a group of angry anti-mask mandate protesters after he appeared at a County Council meeting to speak about his latest public health order.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

See how cracking a political party’s voters into more districts or packing party voters into fewer districts can assure more wins. Plus, get an update on political mapmaking across the U.S., and why it matters.

A little over one year since the 2020 election, despite a defeat, Donald Trump occupies a position in American life that no other former president has ever occupied before. What does this mean for his political ambitions in 2024 and will his party stand with him? 

HONOLULU (AP) — A formerly homeless man who ended up in a mental institution for more than two years because of mistaken identity is suing the state and various Honolulu police officers, Hawaii public defenders and doctors.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Tuesday ordered a record 50 million barrels of oil released from America's strategic reserve, aiming to bring down gasoline and other costs, in coordination with other major energy consuming nations including India, the United Kingdom and China.

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, helped a Washington food kitchen prepare Thanksgiving meals for the needy before they left town — like millions of other Americans — to resume their family tradition of spending the holiday on tiny Nantucket island in Massachusetts.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases expert, blasted Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that Fauci be investigated for statements he made about COVID-19 and said the criticism by the Texas Republican was an attack on science.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News