Michigan doctor out after criticizing county vaccine policy
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (AP) – A county medical director in the Traverse City area said he was losing his job weeks after criticizing elected officials for a policy banning compulsory COVID-19 vaccinations for county employees Vaccine news from the health controls department.
Dr. Michael Collins said his contract was not renewed, meaning Thursday will be his last day in 28 years at the Grand Traverse County’s Department of Health.
“I saw it coming,” Collins told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. “I think it’s a shame that the health department cannot be autonomous and that it shares its opinions openly to the best of its knowledge and belief. … Nobody should be able to advise better than the health department. “
In August, the district commissioners passed a resolution stating the district does not require a vaccination or COVID-19 test for the district’s employees, contractors or job applicants. It states that any vaccine news from the county will encourage people to talk to their doctor about “risks and benefits.”
Politicians say that people have a “sacred, inalienable right” to make a choice.
Local Michigan health officials usually tell people to get vaccinated.
Collins wrote an article in the newspaper two days later saying that the commissioners had “crossed the line from illogical opinion to irresponsibility”.
The health department must be free “to give scientifically sound, evidence-based advice to everyone who can benefit from it”.
Collins said a district official asked him to resign and said his contract would likely not be renewed in late September. Separately, District Administrator Nate Alger announced last week that he would not be reinstated.
Alger declined to comment when the record eagle asked if the doctor’s opinion played a role.
Alger said it had been decided that the health department would “go in a different direction”.
“I would write it again if I got a fix,” Collins said in a farewell message to health department staff.