Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Surgeon fired after speaking against school mask mandate: 'Professionals such as myself are being silenced'



A Minnesota doctor is paying the price for standing up to authority.

On Oct. 11, Dr. Jeffrey Horak told the Fergus Falls school board that parents, not school officials, should be in charge of deciding whether their children wear masks to school, according to Fox News.

Nine days later the surgeon was informed by Lake Region Healthcare, a hospital in Fergus Falls, that he could either resign or be fired.

At the meeting, the school board decided to put in place a mask mandate for elementary school students as a two-week experiment, according to KFGO-FM.

Horak spoke out against the mandate.

“I’m used to wearing masks. I’m not trying to do it while I’m running or playing in the gym or all that other stuff. These masks, you want to stop the virus. The example of it is like trying to stop a mosquito with a chain-link fence, good luck,” he said, according to KFGO-FM.

Dr. Jeffrey Horak, a surgeon in Minnesota, told the Fergus Falls school board on Oct. 11 that parents should make the decision about whether or not their children wear masks.

He says he was dismissed from his job nine days later.

(Video credit: Calvary Chapel Fergus Falls)

— Paul Best (@KincaidBest) October 27, 2021

Horak said parents are the ones who should be making decisions about masks.

"Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids ... to their parents, and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence,” he said.

Horak said he was then told his "views were no longer congruent with that of Lake Region Healthcare" and he had to choice to quit or be fired, Fox reported.

"We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that," Horak said in a post-dismissal statement published by KVRR-TV.

In his statement, Horak said there were many possible reasons for his termination, adding “perhaps my termination is because I was empowering the parents.”

Dr. Greg Smith, the president of the Medical Group Board for the Lake Region Medical Group, said the board made the "decision to discontinue Dr. Jeff Horak’s employment contract after a thorough review process," according to a statement given to Fox.

"The reasons for Dr. Horak’s separation are a confidential matter," Smith said. "To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak’s peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery."

Local residents rallied on behalf of Horak.

Dr. Jeff Horak, who was a surgeon at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls for 16 years, was fired after speaking at a school board meeting against mask mandates for students. Today 500+ people showed up at Lake Region Healthcare to protest...

— Minn News Report (@MinnNewsReport) October 25, 2021

"This isn't a conservative vs. liberal, or vaxed vs. unvaxed, or mask vs. no mask issue," rally organizer Angie Brown said, according to Fox.

"This is an issue of right vs. wrong, and I am so happy that so many in our community recognized this wrong and were willing to show up, both to support Dr. Horak, but to also, in a peaceful way, voice their disagreement with Lake Region Medical Group,” she continued.

Horak spoke at the rally, noting that in the current climate, freedom is in danger.

"One, you’re becoming aware that your freedoms are being taken away. Two, professionals such as myself are being silenced, and then so are you. If it happens to me, it can happen to all of us," Horak said. "And third, you’re afraid. We’re all afraid. Today I want to empower you to say, 'I stand up with Dr. Horak. Truly, I stand with you.'"

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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