Faisal Khan, acting health director of St. Louis County, will step down Politics

CLAYTON – Dr. Faisal Khan, St. The acting director of the Louis County Department of Public Health will step down on Sept. 2, officials said Thursday.

Khan, 48, submitted a letter of resignation to County Director Sam Page on Thursday, calling his appointment “honorable and privileged.”

The letter did not state the exact reason for the departure. Khan did not respond to the request for comment.

Khan has served as acting health director since February 2021, returning to a department where he worked from 2010 to 2018, including as health director for the past three years.

In a statement on Thursday, Page Khan praised the leadership of the health department in the COVID-19 pandemic, despite “intense criticism” including “threats to his life.”

Statements were challenged by Page and Khan last year against opponents of public health measures COVID-19, at a time when Page and most of the council’s critics were opposed to health orders and pandemic aid spending and a voice against the mask. Crowded meetings of the Council on a regular basis.

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In July 2021, in July 2021, the meeting of the Council ended with a tense, and then Khan, who, with the rise of COVID-19 cases, failed to get the support of the council for a mask order, made an obscene gesture to the angry and vocal crowd against the mask.

Khan, in a letter, acknowledged the gesture, but said the crowd had come after suffering racist harassment, telling councilor Tim Fitch, R-3rd District, that he wanted to emphasize Khan’s Pakistani for a “dog-whistle” question. heritage: “Why are you called Dr. Khan? Are you a doctor in the United States? ‘

Khan also told Rita Days Council President D-1. District, that he did not do enough to intervene and keep the decor. The letter attracted national attention and garnered coverage on The Washington Post, MSNBC, PBS’s “NewsHour” and CNN’s “Don Lemon Tonight.”

But claims of physical assault later diminished the videos and the testimony of security officials, and Fitch demanded that Khan be shot. A majority of the council voted 5-2 in December to reject the formal appointment of its health director, adding that an email to Khan referring to anti-mask masks as “crazy root” was further angered by staff.

Page, who told the council in September that he had been “verbally reprimanded” for giving Khan his middle finger, kept Khan in an “acting” role, and supporters said Khan had been subjected to unfair pressure to try to protect public health.

“We appreciate Dr. Khan’s passion and leadership and wish him well in his next chapter,” Page said in a statement Thursday.

“Like health officials across the country, he has been severely criticized, including threats to his life, for making decisions to protect our community from a deadly virus by following science and data.”

On-page spokesman Doug Moore said a temporary health director would be appointed before Khan left in September.

Khan, in a letter to Page, said he would spend the next two months working to ensure “the continuation of the effort and the perfect transition plan for all Public Health operations.”

“I thank you for your support and trust and I assure you that the amazing team at the Department of Public Health will continue to serve St. Louis County residents without commitment and professionalism,” Khan said.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work in the public service with irresponsible professionals. The health and well-being of the residents of St. Louis County are in safe hands. ”

Criticisms of Khan for Page’s political opponents included Democratic challenger Jane Dueker and Republican nominee Shamed Dogan, Ballwin’s state representative.

Dogan said on Thursday that he would do one of his first actions to release Khan.

“I am disappointed that I will not release this liar when I am elected county director,” Dogan said on Twitter. “Typical Khan and Page,” resigning “for no reason and doing everything right.”

Fitch said on Thursday that his disagreements were with Page and that he was caught in the middle of Khan “because it serves the pleasure of the county executive.” Fitch and a council majority claimed the July mask order was illegal because Page did not approve it immediately.

“Maybe he felt really bad about the mask … but the way they did it, he didn’t follow the law, he wasn’t there, he was in the office of Sam Pagen and the County Councilor,” Fitch said.

Fitch, who was a former county police chief when Khan served in the health department, said he wanted to talk to Khan “one by one.”

“I wish him well,” Fitch added.

Khan served as Director General of the Samuel Rodgers Federal Health Center in Kansas City from 2018 to 2021, having previously worked on HIV and AIDS prevention in South Africa, Botswana and China, and West Virginia and public and private health administrations in Massachusetts.

Originally posted on Thursday, June 1 at 1:10 p.m. Updated at 17:11 (tncms-asset) 6f6e1eec-4d59-11ec-81bd-00163ec2aa77[0](/ tncms-asset) (tncms-asset) d62df7dc-1641-11ec-b7cc-00163ec2aa77[1](/ tncms-asset) (tncms-asset) 0694b78a-f95a-11eb-b5b8-00163ec2aa77[2](/ tncms-asset) (tncms-asset) b372a0ba-b7f7-11eb-a24a-00163ec2aa77[3](/ tncms-asset)

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