Dr. Faisal Khan – St. Louis County’s Asian public health director – was bumped, pushed and called a ‘fat brown c**t’ and ‘brown b*****d’ after Tuesday’s council meeting after he spoke in favor of the mask mandate.
The St. Louis County council ultimately voted 5-2 to overturn the mask mandate that went into effect 24 hours before. Republican politicians called masks ‘unAmerican.’
Before the vote, he shared the latest scientific research and surging COVID numbers across the state of Missouri and in St. Louis County, which is separate from the city of St. Louis.
He said during the meeting that county hospitals are being overwhelmed with COVID patients, in large part because of the highly contagious and potent Delta variant strain, which accounts for more than 83percent of the United State’s cases.
While Dr. Khan spoke to a largely ‘MAGA’-movement and anti-mask crowd that he said mocked his accent by mimicking The Simpsons character Apu, he wrote in a letter to Chairwoman Rita Days, which was obtained by DailyMail.com.
Days had to briefly stop Dr. Khan’s presentation a couple times to tell the crowd ‘to be respectful’ while he was speaking.
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Dr. Faisal Khan, St. Louis County’s Asian public health director, faced racial slurs and physical altercations during his presentation and after Tuesday’s St. Louis County meeting by members of the anti-mask crowd and politicians
But it wasn’t just the crowd; it was county politicians who Dr. Khan said verbally assaulted him during his presentation.
His letter specifically mentions Councilman Tim Fitch and his pro-Trump friend Mark McCloskey, who’s running for Missouri Senate. Dr. Khan said they made xenophobic slurs and ‘incendiary comments.’
McCloskey and another politician – Paul Berry, who lost his 2020 bid for county executive – sat behind him and ‘consistently berated me and tried to district me from my presentation,’ Dr. Khan said in the letter.
After the meeting when he tried to leave, he was confronted by a mob of people who pushed him around, physically threatened him and shouted racial slurs at him. He responded by flipping someone off.
His public health career spans 25 years and includes eight countries, including the US, where he’s worked in three different states.
During that time, he said he’s ‘never been subject to the racist, xenophobic and threatening behavior that greeted me in the County Council meeting (Tuesday) night.’
St. Louis County Councilman Tim Fitch (left) and Missouri Senate hopeful Mark McCloskey (right) – both pro-Trump politicians – were called out by Dr. Khan in his letter to the chairwoman for making obscene and racial comments during his presentation, when he urged the council to uphold the mask mandate
Missouri is among the highest infection rates in the country
‘When faced with the racist vitriol that Councilman Fitch has been privately and publicly stoking against me since my appointment, I cannot say I am sorry,’ said Khan, addressing his knee-jerk reaction to give the middle finger to someone who threatened him.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page reintroduced the indoor mask mandate because of concerns over the Delta variant, which was met with harsh criticism and attacks on social media that included pictures of furious locals burning masks.
As per the mandate, all locals were ordered to wear masks inside public settings in the Missouri county regardless of whether they’d been vaccinated.
Videos showing the cheering crowd – which vocalized their disapproval for hours – circulated on social media after Tuesday night’s 5-2 council vote in favor of ditching the masks.
Signs saying ‘The Tyranny,’ ‘The science is clear: Masks don’t work,’ ‘No masks,’ among others were held up during the meeting.
‘Too many American men and women have given the last full measure of devotion for us to be cavalier with the very liberty they fought and died to provide,’ Councilman Ernie Trakas said after the vote.
‘I will not abide any measures that seek to compromise or erode our liberty and freedom.’
Page one of two of Dr. Khan’s letter
Page two of two of Dr. Khan’s letter
Reintroducing the indoor mask mandate – even for those who are vaccinated – has become a hot-button topic throughout the country as the Delta variant threatens to plunge the country into a second shutdown.
In St. Louis County, there’s been a 45 percent spike in reported cases, nearly 40 percent increase in coronavirus-related hospitalizations and 10 deaths, according to the latest numbers from the CDC , which run from July 19 to July 25.
Of the 994,205 county residents, 55.9 percent have at least one shot of the vaccine, according to the CDC.
Before the council voted, Khan warned the Delta variant would eventually overwhelm hospitals.
‘If the council, in its infinite wisdom, negates this order, there will be more misery,’ Khan said. ‘There will be more infection. There will be more death.’
The entire state of Missouri – especially the state’s urban areas – is wrestling with a COVID resurgence, and only around 41 percent of its residents are vaccinated compared to about 57 percent of the US as a whole.
Missouri ranks fourth nationally in the most new cases per capita in the past 14 days, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the US.
St. Louis County had been one of a handful of municipalities to reintroduce masks before its sudden reversal.
Missouri’s most populated city – Kansas City – has also demanded the return of the face coverings.
On Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the city will require masks indoors for everyone older than 5 years old, regardless of their vaccination status.
That will go in effect on August 2.
The city of Savannah in Georgia and Los Angeles already implemented indoor mask mandates, as did a few private companies including Facebook, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley and the Washington Post.
Workers in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, will have to resume wearing masks indoors. Customers will not be forced to, under new rules.
On Tuesday, the CDC updated its indoor mask guidelines to protect against the Delta variant’s spread.
Many Republicans have maintained their belief that masks are all about politics.
Senator Ted Cruz criticized the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over new mask guidelines for vaccinated Americans, calling it ‘absurd’ and asserting that the agency’s ‘credibility is in tatters’.
During a Wednesday interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Cruz took aim at the governmental agency as well as the Democratic party, saying since the beginning of the pandemic they treated COVID-19 as a ‘matter of politics’.
As the number of cases climb in the US, they’re plummeting in the UK.
The daily number of new infections recorded in the country fell seven consecutive days before Wednesday’s slight bump, when the country reported 27,734 cases, which is about half of the reported cases last week.
Meanwhile in the US, the CDC reported a seven-day average of 40,246 new cases, which is a 46.7 percent spike since last week.
DailyMail.com left a message for Fitch for comment.