A northern California city official was ousted after he claimed on social media that sick, old and homeless people should be left to meet their “natural course in nature” during the coronavirus pandemic, local media reported.
According to the NBC news channel, city council members in Antioch voted unanimously Friday night via a Zoom meeting to remove Ken Turnage II from his post as chairman of the city’s planning commission, for his unacceptable comments.
He wrote on Facebook: “the World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers its ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature.”
“If we were to live our lives, let nature run its course, yes we will all feel hardship, we will all feel loss,” he wrote, but “as a species,” the deaths would alleviate strain on the United States’ healthcare and Social Security systems and free up jobs and housing.
Turnage later deleted the post but refused to resign or back down from his comments.
He was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying that despite his history of “provoking dialogue and discussion” on his Facebook page, he knew these comments were “a little more edgy” as he wrote them.
He argued his personal views had no bearing on his duties as a planning commissioner and removing him would violate his freedom of speech.
But city officials said that his posting caused a loss in confidence and created a disruption to the city.