St. Louis public health leader claims mob called him racial slurs for promoting masks

The acting director of the St. Louis County Health Department alleged that he faced an “angry mob” and was called racist slurs in a St. Louis County council meeting where he promoted a mask mandate, according to The Washington Post and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dr. Faisal Khan appeared before the council on July 27. The city and St. Louis County announced on July 23 that they would require people to wear masks in indoor public places and on public transportation beginning July 26. On July 27, the council voted, 5-2, to rescind the order. In a July 28 letter to council Chair Rita Days, published by the Post-Dispatch, Dr. Khan said his goal was to promote the requirement as “an important disease transmission mitigation strategy necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus, especially as the much more contagious delta variant is now the dominant variant in Missouri and in our region.”

But Dr. Khan, who is from South Asia and has an MBBS medical degree, said he was confronted by several people who were in the aisle after his presentation and was shoulder-bumped and pushed more than once. “As I approached the exit and immediately outside the chambers, I became surrounded by the crowd in close quarters, where members of the crowd yelled at me,” he told Ms. Days. He said he was “called racist slurs and surrounded by an angry mob” and he then “expressed my displeasure by using my middle finger toward an individual who had physically threatened me and called me racist slurs.”

Dr. Khan also accused Councilmember Tim Fitch and U.S. Senate candidate Mark McCloskey of making efforts “to stoke xenophobia against me.” A spokesman for Mr. McCloskey called Dr. Khan’s allegations against Mr. McCloskey “fictitious,” according to the Post-Dispatch. In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio, Mr. Fitch denied that he asked racist and dog-whistle questions during the meeting but said he did hear booing and jeering from the crowd. He added that he didn’t hear “anything other than boos and jeers that was inappropriate, and I’m not saying it didn’t happen, what I’m saying is I didn’t hear it.”



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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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