ANTIOCH, California – A northern California city official was fired after he suggested on social media that sick, old, and homeless people should follow the “natural course in nature” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the Antioch city council, a city of about 110,000 people 35 miles east of Oakland, voted unanimously on Friday night to remove Ken Turnage II from his post as chairman of the city planning commission.
NBC Bay Area reports that there was a rapid uproar after Turnage characterized people with weak immune systems as a burden on society.
He wrote on Facebook: “The world has been introduced to a new phrase on Group Immunity, which is good. In my opinion, we need to adapt a herd mentality. A herd makes it hierarchical, it allows the sick, the old and the wounded to follow their natural course in nature ”.
As for the homeless, he added that the virus “would fix what is a significant burden on our society and the resources that can be used.”
Turnage later deleted the post, but refused to resign or deny his comments.
During the two-hour council meeting held at Zoom, Turnage said his personal opinion was unrelated to his duties as a planning commissioner and that removing him would violate his freedom of expression.
Despite the California governor’s order, a crowd of people protested that the beaches of Orange County be reopened.
But city officials responded that its publication caused a loss of confidence and created a disruption to the city. Mayor Steve Wright said that politicians are on a higher level by representing the city to everyone.
After the council removed him from office, Turnage said that if residents had lost confidence in him, “that’s their opinion and I can’t help it.”
“It’s not like it used to be,” he lamented, “when you can have an opinion, talk about it, and then sit down and have a beer together and talk about soccer.”
Vallejo Planning Commissioner Chris Platzer resigned after throwing his cat away and apparently drinking a beer at the encounter.