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Kent County GOP state representatives warn health department refrain from mask mandates

Face covering

Four Republican Kent County State Representatives sent a letter to the county’s Administrative Health Officer urging him to refrain from issuing mask mandates.

Dr. Adam London, Kent County’s Administrative Health Officer recently refrained from imposing a mask mandate for area schools.

“At this time, I am presenting the community with the highest recommendation possible that schools and the parents require adherence to the guidance of the CDC, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Kent County Health Department.”

That was met with a letter from Kent County State Representatives Thomas Albert, Mark Huizenga, Steven Johnson and Bryan Posthumus. The four Republicans informed Dr. London, “Your efforts should be focused on administering our county’s existing public health system and advising policymakers, rather than crafting new restrictions that interfere with the daily lives of the people of Kent County.” They noted Dr. London is an unelected official adding, “Ultimately, we believe the best way to settle the masking debate is to allow Kent County’s 657,974 residents to evaluate their own risks, weigh the costs and benefits, and act accordingly. We hope you will agree and conclude that people can make informed choices for themselves and their families. We in the Legislature are willing to use the constitutional tools at our disposal - including the power of the purse - should a public health officer act outside the sphere of proper authority.”

WGVU reached out the Kent County Health Department. It confirmed receiving the letter and declined comment.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.