CLAYTON, Mo. – The events of a recent St. Louis County meeting about a mask mandate are under investigation after county health director Dr. Faisal Khan admittedly raised his middle finger to people in the crowd.
Khan claims he was assaulted and that the crowd yelled racist remarks toward him.
County Executive Dr. Sam Page said last Tuesday’s heated meeting was not the county’s finest moment.
“The community I love was thrust into the national spotlight for bad behavior, xenophobia, racism, and resistance to recommendations from scientists and doctors, including the CDC. As I sat at the dais with a mask on and watched the crowd, I listened to the anger, and I saw the frustration,” Page said. “It saddens me that protecting lives has become divisive. We must come together to get through this pandemic. It is the only way forward.”
The original agenda of Monday’s committee meeting focused on Khan’s allegations. However, those allegations have been set aside for now and the committee meeting will focus on security issues and decorum at county council meetings.
The committee is expected to look at video recordings from Tuesday’s meeting. While the meeting is open to the public and media, a public notice says the committee may vote to meet in closed session.
The four members of the committee are Chairwoman Shalona Webb and council members Rita Heard Days, Lisa Clancy, and Tim Fitch.
Meanwhile, more than 500 doctors signed a letter in full support for Dr. Khan. The letter, addressed to the county council, references the physical and verbal attacks dr. khan says he suffered, and that the COVID mask issue has become a political and not a public health fight.
The letter asks the council to deescalate the rhetoric and move to protect the department of public health leaders and staff.