County Board of Health gets an earful on Covid-19 mandates

It seems as most people are eagerly moving on from the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down the world, a small but vocal group of locals opposed to mask, vaccine and shutdown mandates are keeping up the fight.
Several residents turned out for the Clark County Board of Health’s Wednesday meeting, including one resident – John Siemssen – who played an audio recording of Dr. David Martin to speak for him.
Martin, a financial analyst and former professor popular on YouTube, is perhaps best known for his claims about the Covid-19 “plandemic,” SARS viruses and other theories that have been widely discredited.
As each resident is only allotted three minutes to provide public comment, Siemssen didn’t have enough time to play the entire recording. That’s when Wynn Grcich and Penelope Siemssen used their three minutes each to let the recording continue. Grcich also suggested the board “take notes.”
The move didn’t set well with Councilor Gary Medvigy, who was chairing the meeting in Chair Karen Bowerman’s absence.
“It’s certainly a gross abuse of public comment time,” Medvigy said during the meeting. “it highlights a real gap in our procedural rules. This is not public comment. What you’re doing is having your own social platform soapbox.”
Medvigy said this was doing no good for anyone in the county.
But that wasn’t the end of the Covid-related comments. The next resident to speak was Laurie Pascual, who questioned how Moderna created a vaccine so quickly after the outbreak began. Moderna was one of three companies, along with Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson, creating vaccines in the U.S.
Not all of the public comment offered during the board’s meeting was focused on the pandemic. Ridgefield resident Erica Martin, owner of Star Meadow Counseling, asked for an update on the county’s work to end health inequities.
“Back in October, you had committed to quarterly updates on what the county is doing to address your declaration of racism as a public health emergency. These updates haven’t been happening as promised,” Martin said.
Martin also said the webpage for the public hasn’t launched either and asked when that would be available.
While the board doesn’t typically respond to questions during the meeting, Councilor Sue Marshall asked Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick to respond. Melnick said updates on both would be provided to the board within the next few months.
To watch the full meeting, go to

— Shari Phiel

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