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Health officer says medical experts face "aggression and threats" over school mask order

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
Macau Photo Agency

Hundreds of people spoke out Thursday afternoon at a Kent County Board of Commissioners meeting, angry about the county’s school mask mandate.

At the meeting, county health officer Adam London cited research showing that masks are effective at helping to slow the spread of coronavirus. All of the county’s hospitals issued statements supporting the mask mandate. But London told commissioners he didn’t ask any other local health experts to speak at the meeting.  

“I’ve chosen, to be frank, not to do that because of the aggression and threats so many of us have received," London told commissioners. "I am not going to put other people who are working their tail off to serve this community, put them on the same stage that I’m on right now to be the target of aggression.”

The Kent county school mask mandateapplies to students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. London says it will expire two months after children become eligible to receive a vaccine, or when community transmission of COVID-19 is rated “low” by the CDC.

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Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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