County health commissioner dismissed over social media post

CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — The public health commissioner for a northeastern Ohio county has been fired over a social media post he made that said insurance companies should not pay for coronavirus treatment for unvaccinated people.

The Geauga County Board of Health dismissed Tom Quade on Wednesday after a meeting that drew a large crowd. Quade, a past president of the American Public Health Association and the Ohio Public Health Association, apologized for the statement he posted on Facebook and later deleted, telling officials “this was a mistake I own, and while I cannot alter the past, I assure you it will not be repeated moving forward.”

Several people who spoke at the meeting urged the board to fire Quade, who has drawn some criticism for his outspoken support of people wearing face masks and getting vaccinated. But his supporters cited his performance in the job and his overall handling of the pandemic.

Speaking during the meeting, health board President Richard Piraino said Quade’s post “insulted the public and affected the public perception of Geauga Public Health.” Piraino said the board needed ensure that its mission and goals “are held to the highest standard, free from partisan politics.”

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