95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ottawa County Deputy Public Health Director publicly intimidated by residents opposing schools mask mandate

N95 masks are used both as dust masks and as medical equipment.
Ottawa County
Getty Images
Ottawa Department of Public Health

Ottawa County state legislators continue supporting parents fight to overturn mask mandate.

This week, Kent County’s Administrative Health Officer made public threats - and attempts of violence - experienced since issuing an August mask mandate for county schools. Next door in Ottawa County, the public health officer there says she’s also been targeted. It comes at a time when Ottawa County state lawmakers declared they’re going to continue to fight school mask mandates.

Following the issuing of a public health order mandating masks in schools, Ottawa County Deputy Public Health Director, Marcia Mansaray, says she’s been publicly intimidated by residents opposing the decision.

“My face was put on Facebook with ‘Get to her’ kind of statements. Here’s her information. I know my cellphone number was shared.”

Mansaray feels violated, but nothing compared to the attempts of violence aimed at Dr. Adam London in Kent County.

“Threats wise I have not received the same kind of threats to my life. I have been called many names with expletives for sure. Child abuser is a common one.”

As hostility toward public health officers is rising, Ottawa County Republican State Senator Roger Victory and Republican State Representative Luke Meerman released a statement this week supporting local parents fight to overturn the county’s mask mandate.

Meerman, of Coopersville said, “The idea that one health director, without the people’s voice via their elected commissioners, can determine what is the county’s health response is antithetical to our democracy.”

Mansaray questions public health decisions left in the hands of politicians who lack credentials and who have agendas.

“They have a fealty to their party and it’s not a good idea. It’s why they have appointed professional positions.”

Mansaray warns the current climate will make it difficult attracting qualified and expert professionals to serve in public health.

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.
Related Content