Missouri governor blames senators for medical director’s resignation


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Don Kauerauf has resigned as director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, just days before the post’s confirmation deadline.

Governor Mike Parson said Tuesday afternoon that he had accepted Kauerauf’s resignation.

Anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers protested Kauerauf’s appointment. A group gathered at the state Capitol on Monday to voice their grievances ahead of the Senate confirmation hearing.

Parson has chosen Kauerauf to lead the department starting September 1, 2021, but the Senate Appellate Committee has until Friday to approve that appointment.

Missouri lawmakers will be off for the rest of the week due to winter weather, but before leaving, they failed to pass Kauerauf’s nomination, essentially blocking confirmation.

The General Chapter left earlier than usual Tuesday to beat the blizzard. The House looked out in less than 30 minutes, canceling several afternoon hearings. In the Senate, members had a deadline to approve Friday’s appointment of Kauerauf as DHSS director.

“At this point, it seems unlikely that the Senate will return that nomination to the governor,” Sen. Bill Eigel (R-Weldon Spring) said on the floor Tuesday.

The senators approved more than a dozen other appointees before they adjourned Tuesday afternoon, but not Kauerauf.

Without a confirmation vote, Kauerauf will be a lousy director until Friday, when he is officially ousted.

Kauerauf took over the DHSS after Dr. Randall Williams was asked to step down in April 2021. Since his appointment, Kauerauf has repeatedly reiterated that he is against the duties but because of face coverings and vaccinations to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Because of what he said and his reaction, I’m going to have to tell you that I object to his confirmation,” said Senator Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove).

Moon questioned Kauerauf several times during a three-hour meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday.

“I do this because I believe thousands of people have contacted me via text, email, and many by phone because they are worried,” Moon said.

Just hours before Monday’s hearing, more than 150 people gathered in the stands to voice their concerns about Kauerauf, who previously served as assistant director of the Illinois Department of Public Health until 2018. and retired on December 31, 2018, until taking on a new role. in Missouri.

Outside the committee room on Monday, protesters held up placards that said, “If Kauerauf stays, then Parson go,” and falsely accused Kauerauf of supporting the missions.

Moon held the Senate floor for nearly three hours on Tuesday as members awaited adjournment for the green light to go home in hopes of beating the snow.

“Sadly, for anything worthwhile. It’s sad,” said Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo (D-Independence). “I don’t believe he will come back. I don’t believe there will be a re-appointment or another attempt at bringing him back.”

Rizzo worries about what this means for the state and the Missouri health department in the future.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we don’t have a chief medical officer,” Rizzo said. “I worry about the quality of the person you’re going to get that is willing to go through that betrayal to serve the State of Missouri, especially when they can work in the private sector and make more money.”

Parson released a statement Monday during the hearing, supporting Kauerauf. He accused members of his party of political crimes and spreading disinformation.

On Tuesday, the governor unleashed a craze on social mediacalling the events around the validation process shameful.

“The events of the past few days surrounding Don’s Senate confirmation hearing are nothing short of shameful, unquestionably false, and embarrassing to this state and those who we serve,” Parson say on Twitter.

The governor also accused members of the state senate thinking more of “political gain than harm done to Don and his family”.

In the meantime, Parson appointed Richard Moore as interim director of DHSS.

https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/missouri-health-director-resigns-amid-outcry-over-stances-on-pandemic/ Missouri governor blames senators for medical director’s resignation

Aila Slisco

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