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Healthcare CEO Who Said Masks Are “Just For Show” Forced Out

Image: Jake DeGroot (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“For me to wear a mask defies the efficacy and purpose of a mask and sends an untruthful message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it. I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture. … My team and I have a duty to express the truth and facts and reality and not feed the opposite.” – Ousted Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft

Minneapolis Star-Tribune, SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The head of one of the largest regional health systems in the Midwest was replaced Tuesday, less than a week after telling employees that he had recovered from COVID-19 and was not wearing a mask around the office.

Sanford Health said in a release that it has “mutually agreed to part ways” with longtime CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, who took over in 1996 and helped expand the organization from a community hospital into what is billed as the largest rural nonprofit health system in the country.

Krabbenhoft left after telling employees in an email that he believes he’s now immune to COVID-19 for “at least seven months and perhaps years to come” and that he isn’t a threat to transmit it to anyone. He said wearing a mask would be merely for show.

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Other Sanford executives tried to distance themselves from the comments.

Dr. Kathy Anderson, president of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said it was “an especially dangerous message to be sending right now in North Dakota” Read more. 

ALSO ON HEADLINE HEALTH TODAY: Topless Protesters Demand Action | City Tickets 125 Citizens For Not Wearing Masks | Thankful Bears Stop By For Dinner 

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