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Community leaders call for calm, reason and public safety in wake of protests due to objections to COVID precautions marked by sexism, racism, death threats

FLINT, Michigan – Proponents of the use of masks to stem the spread of COVID-19  were the targets of heckling, harassment and intimidation.

Republican party organized protests disrupted two county meetings where an indoor mask mandate was to be discussed. The first meeting was followed by a credible death threat directed towards Dr. Pamela Hackert, medical health officer and Kayleigh Blaney, deputy director for the Genesee County Health department.

At a press conference being held today, Rev. Monica Villarreal will discuss an email she received with a sexist and racist message from an opponent who heard her speak in favor of the common sense step to protect the community. Dr. Joyce McNeal of Flint Community Schools will focus on how masks in schools provide safety to our children, teachers and staff. Attorney Ashley Prew will focus on Dr. Pamela Hackert as the county’s expert in medicine and public health and the validity of the health order.

Bowing to pressure from Commissioners aligned with protesters, the Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public meeting with Dr. Hackert Monday morning.

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