ST. LOUIS – Tuesday night’s county council meeting came after a judge issued a temporary restraining order against the mask mandate. It also came a week after a raucous meeting that ended with the county council ruling 5-2 to overturn the mask mandate. Today’s court hearing was about that ruling.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit last week contesting the mandate. A St. Louis County Circuit Court sided with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office today.
Schmitt’s office says the judge agreed with the Missouri Attorney General’s office that the St. Louis County Council had the authority to terminate the County’s health order.
The ruling was discussed during Tuesday night’s county council meeting when Councilman Tim Fitch asked County Executive Dr. Sam Page, “do we currently have a mask mandate in St. Louis County, yes or no?”
Page responded, “the judge issued a temporary restraining order on the St. Louis County mask mandate, we will be back in two weeks to make our argument about why we think a mask mandate is proper and best for St. Louis County, in the interim I expect many people will continue wearing masks because St. Louis County residents, businesses, patrons, employees want to know what the right thing to do is and they’ll do it and I expect them to continue to do it.”
Fitch responded, “and I know we heard that, but I will take that as a no there’s not a mask mandate in St. Louis County, people just want to know what the law is, that’s all they want to know, I was just looking for there is or there isn’t, we’ve already heard that explanation, so sir are you comfortable with saying there’s no mask mandate, right now in St. Louis County.”
“There is a temporary restraining order by a judge,” Page started to say before the crowd’s reaction cut him off.
After Fitch, Councilman Mark Harder asked Page, “are you going to accept the resignation of Dr. Khan?”
“I am embarrassed for the way Dr. Khan was treated,” Page responded. “I stand with Dr. Khan, we will pursue the investigation by St. Louis County and we will announce those results when they are completed.”
Harder asked if Page believed Dr. Khan was assaulted during last week’s meeting. Page said he believes what Dr. Khan told him his experience was. He said he will wait to see what the investigation shows.
Councilwoman Lisa Clancy had planned to introduce legislation to vote on a mask mandate for the county during Tuesday’s meeting, but she said she will hold off until next Tuesday and “put the bill to rest.”
She said she implores the council members to look at ‘science’ and work with her.
More than 40 public comments were stated during the meeting, a majority of them against a mask or vaccine mandate and stating their displeasure with doctors Page and Khan.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s office issued a statement saying, “We are disappointed in the judge’s decision as more and more mask requirements are put in place across the country to help slow this deadly virus. The CDC recommends wearing masks in public places and we ask everyone to follow that guidance as we continue our vaccine efforts.”