A Minnesota community is rallying to the support of a general surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Horak, after he was dismissed from his employer for comments he made at a public school board meeting in support of a parents right to make decisions regarding their children and COVID-19 masks.
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) pic.twitter.com/MUEh3OSdiZ
— Paul Best (@KincaidBest) October 27, 2021
“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,” Horak said according to the Washington Examiner.
“I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that,” he continued. “It’s a position I’ve always have taken. And when the science doesn’t make sense to me, it’s hard for me to go along.”
After a review board at Lake Region Healthcare, where Horak was employed, recommended termination, CEO Kent Mattson said he wished the doctor well and that the company “sincerely appreciates Dr. Horak’s 16 years of service to our patients and our organizations.”
But many in the community of Fergus Falls, Minn., subsequently rallied to the doctor’s defense.
In a wholly peaceful protest, hundreds gathered in town, some carrying signs in his support saying “I stand with Dr. Horak” according to the local Valley News Live.
“We’re very proud of him—for him to stand up and lose his job tells you something about the man,” said Rick Bolinske, a family friend of Dr. Horak according to Valley View News.
“We’re actually family friends,” Bolinske added. “He’s an incredible man—there’s no way he should lose his job for what he has said. We’ve lost our freedoms.”
A group of local nurses also issued a statement to Valley News saying that they would speak out publicly in support of Dr. Horak but were afraid of getting fired.
“We would be willing to speak up if we were not fearful that our job would be in jeopardy for expressing our First Amendment Rights,” said the nurses’ statement.