The Associated Press reports that a doctor who helped guide Kansas through the COVID-19 pandemic now says he’s “fussed” out of his job.
Dr. Lee Norman told the Kansas News Service that he resigned from his positions as state health officer and at the state Department of Health and Environment because he was asked to do so.
He cited contentious tensions between Democratic Governor Laura Kelly and the Republican-led state legislature as the main reason for his impeachment. many Republicans The Kansas legislature has publicly opposed vaccine mandates and other measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Norman said, “The split is really interfering with that. It was. [like] Put a stick in the brakes of a bicycle. There are many countries where there has not been this kind of conflict.”
“The Trump administration’s shameful treatment of public health leaders, I think, paved the way for the same thing to happen at the state level,” Norman said. “Fauci was Fauci’d. To be honest with you, I think I was Fauci’d.”
Shortly before Norman’s departure, Kelly publicly opposed the president Joe BidenDelegating the proposed vaccine to government employees. Forty-eight Kansas counties have lost their public health officials or health directors to the mandate, and Norman referred to these losses as a “brain drain” and support for COVID-19 vaccination.
“Vaccines are safe,” he said. “One counter-narrative that natural immunity is better than vaccine-driven immunity is simply not true. The longer we have unvaccinated individuals roaming the earth, the more variants we will see emerge.”
For more reports from the Associated Press, see below.
Norman has been the health department’s chief administrator since Kelly took office in January 2019. He was soon replaced by Janet Stanek, a longtime hospital director from Topeka.
Kelly, in announcing Norman’s departure, hailed him as “the most important leader” in the department’s history.
Norman was perhaps Kelly’s most visible adviser early in the coronavirus pandemic, often standing next to her in a white lab coat. But it has been less visible in recent months.
Disputes with the public and elected leaders at the municipal and county levels have led to the dismissals and resignations of many public health leaders across the United States.
Norman emphasized that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and provide the best defense against current and future variants of the virus.