Ottawa Co. Board gives high well being job to anti-masker — however state … – Iosco County Information Herald

Ottawa County Board of Commissioners assembly, Jan. 3, 2023 | Screenshot

The far-right Republicans who’ve taken their place on the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners and made sweeping modifications to departments this week need Nathaniel Kelly, who has railed in opposition to masking to cease the unfold of COVID-19, to guide the county well being division. 

Nonetheless, the Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers (DHHS) mentioned county officers haven’t submitted proof of Kelly’s {qualifications} as a way to get authorised by the state. 

Kelly, 39, of Jamestown Township in West Michigan, is the security supervisor for the Pluene Service Firm in Grand Rapids, a heating air flow and air con enterprise. Kelly didn’t return a name searching for remark for this story.

Nathaniel Kelly | Screenshot

An area governing entity must submit proof of {qualifications} to MDHHS to nominate a brand new well being officer, together with the candidate’s resume and transcripts,” mentioned DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin. “On the time of this response, MDHHS has not obtained a request from Ottawa County.”

State regulation requires that county well being officers have a grasp’s diploma in public well being and at the least three years of full-time public well being administrative expertise; a associated graduate diploma and 5 years of full-time public well being administrative expertise; or have a bachelor’s diploma and eight years of full-time public well being expertise, 5 years of which should have been within the administration of a broad vary of public well being applications.

Kelly didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Commissioners on Tuesday mentioned Kelly has a grasp’s levels of science in public well being and occupational well being from Columbia Southern College, a web based college based mostly in Alabama.

In August, Kelly was a speaker at an event hosted by the far-right group Stand Up Michigan, America’s Frontline Industrial Hygienists & Multidisciplinary Assist Summit, the place he outlined his plans for COVID-19 mitigation.

On the poster for the occasion, Kelly was listed as an occupational, environmental well being and security skilled and a public well being skilled. 

Kelly’s mitigation plan contains sending out kits of nutritional vitamins, minerals, a neti pot and ivermectin, a drug often used to deal with head lice or parasitic worms in people, horses and different livestock. Misinformation fueled by right-wing figures and people who find themselves anti-vaccination has some satisfied that ivermectin can deal with COVID-19, however doctors warn there is no such thing as a proof of that and misusing the drug comes with severe well being dangers.

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Kelly additionally mentioned he would direct companies to replace their HVAC programs, and he would refuse to implement masking, social distancing or testing necessities for infectious illnesses, which nationwide well being specialists like Dr. Anthony Fauci have repeatedly famous are efficient in stopping the unfold of COVID and different contagious illnesses. 

A brand new study the Commonwealth Fund and Yale Faculty of Public Well being discovered that greater than 3 million lives within the U.S. had been probably saved and 18.5 million individuals had been stored out of the hospital because of COVID-19 vaccines.

DHHS stories a complete of two,998,447 Michiganders have tested optimistic for COVID-19 because the begin of the pandemic in March 2020. In complete, 40,836 individuals have died from the virus.

Ottawa County has had 86,644 reported COVID instances and 896 deaths.

Michigan Division of Well being and Human Providers | Susan J. Demas

Sutfin didn’t reply to a query on whether or not Kelly’s unproven strategies to deal with widespread infectious illnesses, like COVID-19, would play a task within the DHHS’ choice to approve his {qualifications}.

The county board voted 7-1 Tuesday to call Kelly the subsequent administrative well being officer after ousting Adeline Hambley throughout a five-hour assembly. 

Throughout that assembly, the board also voted to fireplace County Administrator John Shay and appoint John Gibbs, who misplaced Nov. 8 within the third Congressional District to Democrat U.S. Rep Hillary Scholten; get rid of its Variety, Fairness and Inclusion Division; and alter the county motto from “The place You Belong” to “The place Freedom Rings.”

On Wednesday, Legal professional Common Dana Nessel’s workplace mentioned the division is conducting an “in depth evaluation” to research whether or not the Board violated the Open Conferences Act Tuesday after a number of agenda objects had been added after the beginning of the assembly. 

Nessel’s workplace mentioned they “will make our findings public upon completion.”


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