Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Health https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ South Dakota Healthcare CEO says he had COVID-19 but would not wear a mask at work: report

South Dakota Healthcare CEO says he had COVID-19 but would not wear a mask at work: report





a man in a suit standing in front of a building: Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of Sanford Health, announces a $ 125 million gift from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who will establish a program to integrate genetics into primary care and internal medicine, Tuesday, January 7, 201[ads1]4 in Sioux Falls, SD.  AP Photo / Dirk Lammers


© AP Photo / Dirk Lammers
Kelby Krabbenhoft, CEO of Sanford Health, announces a $ 125 million gift from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, who will establish a program to integrate genetics into primary care and internal medicine, on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 in Sioux Falls, SD. AP Photo / Dirk Lammers

The debate over whether or not to wear a mask to reduce the spread of coronavirus has ended for the CEO of a South Dakota health care system.

Sanford Health’s Kelby Krabbenhoft wrote in an email to staff that he had experienced COVID-19 but had returned to work and did not want to wear a mask.

In the email obtained by CNN, Krabbenhoft said “for me to wear a mask defies the effectiveness and purpose of a mask and sends an untrue message that I am susceptible to infection or could transmit it.”

He added: “I have no interest in using masks as a symbolic gesture,” CNN reported.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing a mask, even though someone has already had COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus that first appeared in China in 2019 and has now infected over 12 million Americans. It is unclear whether a COVID-19 attack confers the patient’s immunity.

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South Dakota is in the midst of a violent COVID-19 outbreak as the United States surrounds itself with a challenging winter of fighting the pandemic ahead of the expected vaccinations that may take effect in early 2020. Governor Kristi Noem has not used the power of the state government to force mask-wearing.

Sanford Health distanced itself from Krabbenhoft’s comments, CNN reported, citing a statement from Vice President Micah Aberson.

“Kelby Krabbenhoft’s email was based on his own experience with Covid-19 and his personal opinions on the virus. They do not reflect the views of our healthcare system as a whole,” she told CNN.

The CEO’s email seemed to stem from frustration with inconsistent public health announcements around masks. In his email, according to CNN, he said masks are a sensible choice for those who had not received COVID-19.

That did not stop Sanford employees from complaining about Krabbenhoft’s position.

“It’s shocking to read this from a hospital executive,” an unnamed nurse told CNN.

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