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Fri Nov 20, 2020, 06:36 PM

Midwest health system CEO says he had virus, won't wear mask [View all]

Source: Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The head of one of the largest regional health systems in the Midwest has told his employees that he has recovered from COVID-19 and is back in the office — without a mask.

Sanford Health’s president and chief executive, Kelby Krabbenhoft, said in an email Wednesday that he believes he’s now immune to the disease for “at least seven months and perhaps years to come” and that he isn’t a threat to transmit it to anyone, so wearing a mask would be merely for show.

The email from Krabbenhoft, who is not a physician, comes as hospitals throughout the region, including in his own network, are struggling to keep up with some of the country’s worst surges of coronavirus patients. And it comes at a time when mask wearing remains a politicized issue in many states.

Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has 46 hospitals and more than 200 clinics concentrated in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. It employs about 50,000 people. The Dakotas have had the country’s worst spread rates for several weeks, with Iowa close behind, while Minnesota is catching up.

“For me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it,” Krabbenhoft wrote in the email, obtained by The Associated Press. “I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture. ... My team and I have a duty to express the truth and facts and reality and not feed the opposite.”

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/technology-sioux-falls-south-dakota-coronavirus-pandemic-email-d07d3059702c95a162bf2794c79e538c

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