World News – United States – CEO of one of the Midwest’s largest healthcare systems to leave after controversial COVID-19 email


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By Victoria Albert

24. November 2020/20. 46 o’clock
/ CBS News

The CEO of one of the largest healthcare systems in Dakotas is leaving his role days after sending employees a controversial email about his recovery from the coronavirus and his self-claimed immunity to the disease. The Board of Trustees of Sanford Health announced on Tuesday that it had « mutually agreed on a separation » with longtime President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft.

The 62-year-old told employees in an email on Wednesday that he would not wear a mask in the office because he had recovered from the coronavirus and is therefore immune, according to The Associated Press. Krabbenhoft, who is not a doctor, reportedly told staff that he was immune to the virus « for at least seven months and maybe years » – a statement that science does not support.

« If I wear a mask, it contradicts the effectiveness and purpose of a mask and sends a false message that I am susceptible to or could transmit infections, » Krabbenhoft wrote in the email, according to the AP. « I’m not interested in using masks as a symbolic gesture. . . . My team and I have a duty to express the truth, the facts and the reality and not to feed the opposite. « 

Krabbenhoft said it was important for those who did not sign COVID-19 to wear masks. He wrote, « It is important to know that masks are just plain intelligent and to be used in their best interests. « 

Krabbenhoft also recently made headlines for contradicting its own medical director about the severity of the pandemic. He told CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, « I have a hard time saying we are in a crisis » – but when the medical director, Dr. . Allison Suttle was asked if she would describe the situation as a crisis. She replied, « I would. « 

Krabbenhoft’s comments come from the fact that North and South Dakota are grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases. As of Monday, South Dakota had more COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths per capita than any other state. North Dakota hospitals were so overwhelmed this month that the governor issued an order allowing health care workers who tested positive for the coronavirus but did not show symptoms to continue working.

Krabbenhoft had previously announced that after announcing a merger with Utah-based Intermountain Healthcare, he would retire in 18 months, according to CBS subsidiary KELO-TV. In an interview with the broadcaster on Tuesday, Krabbenhoft said he was leaving the company early because it had become so successful.

« If there was ever a time for a man who went through what I went through, this is a great time to say goodbye, » he said.

Sanford Health, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has 46 hospitals and over 200 clinics in the Midwest, according to its website. Upon completion of the merger, the company will have 70 hospitals and nearly 90. Employing 000 people, reported KELO-TV.

First published on 24. November 2020/20. 46 o’clock

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. . All rights reserved.

Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health Home Medical Equipment, Managing Director, South Dakota

World News – USA – CEO of one of the largest healthcare systems in the Midwest, the company after controversial COVID-19 leaves email


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