CALIFORNIA−Ken Turnage, planning commissioner for Antioch city council suggested on social media on Friday, May 1, that the coronavirus should be allowed to take its course “culling the herd” by eliminating the weak, the elderly, and the homeless.
Turnage is being accused of subscribing to and promoting the herd immunity on social media. The herd immunity theory is that if enough members of a said population contract a disease, they then build up an immunity to that disease. Unfortunately, the weak, those at risk, and the elderly often succumb to the disease. News reports indicate that Turnage took it a step further on social media suggesting that if the U.S. participated in this, it would open up housing for others.
The Mayor of Antioch, Dr. Sean Wright requested a letter of resignation from Turnage after public outcry and after community members’ called for the commissioner’s resignation.
Mayor Wright and the City Council met via Zoom on May 1. Turnage had the opportunity to speak. In speaking on his own behalf, Turnage indicating that he was expressing his own opinion on his own Facebook page to spark a debate.
A council member read many of the 92 email messages sent into the City Council during the meeting. Some called it the freedom of speech, the majority of the messages read were asking for his resignation.
One woman who went by the name of Lisa Wolfe wrote indicating she took offense to the Turnage post and called the commissioner on the phone. When Turnage answered, Wolfe asked if his parents and his wife’s parents were living, to which he replied, “yes.” Wolfe stated, “I then asked if it would be alright with him if all four of them were allowed to die to ‘cull the herd.’ Turnage reportedly answered, “yes.” Wolfe then repeated the question. Wolfe stated that Turnage shouted at her, saying, “Yes, I am good with that lady. I don’t say what I don’t mean. I don’t care if any of them die. We have to do this.”
The full-text of the meeting may be found below.
Antioch California is located in the East Bay region of San Francisco along the San Juaquin-Sacramento River Delta and is the second-largest city in Contra Costa County with a population of well over 110,000 people.