Dauphin County Coroner argues against masking and vaccine mandates, despite public health advice

Coronavirus

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — The Dauphin County Coroner is an outspoken critic of mask mandates and believes the COVID vaccines aren’t safe. Public health officials say arguments like these are dangerous.

On Monday night Dauphin County Coroner Graham Hetrick went to the Central Dauphin school board meeting to fight against the mask mandate they were considering. On Tuesday he sat down with abc27 News to explain his controversial views.

“I don’t wear a mask,” Hetrick said. “This is uncomfortable, and it’s not a good thing to do.”

He thinks we’ve taken preventions against the deadly pandemic too far.

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“We’re losing too much by this Covidian cult where we’re more afraid of dying than we are enamored with living, and it’s not a good place for us to be in,” Hetrick said.

UPMC infectious diseases physician Dr. John Goldman says conspiracy theories about masking don’t hold up to the science and the facts.

“There is a preponderance of evidence, there are multiple studies. And any responsible organization has recommended masking,” Goldman said.

Not only is Hetrick against masking, he says he’s not getting vaccinated, partly because he’s had COVID.

“I got sick and now God vaccinated me, but I don’t need the vaccine,” Hetrick said. “As a matter of fact, it might be more harmful for me to have the vaccine.”

Doctors say false claims about vaccines are dangerous.

“A result of these kinds of conspiracy theories there are people who got sick, people who ended up in the hospital and there are people who died,” Goldman said.

Dr. Goldman is urging people to trust the science.

“I’m a little surprised that a public official would think he knows better than all of these organizations,” Goldman said.

But Hetrick is sticking by his arguments.

“I don’t care what they say. I don’t care what they say,” Hetrick said. “I’m saying that we should have an ability to decide what we do, what we put into our own bodies, and what we put on our bodies that’s a medical device.”

The Dauphin County Commissioners sent ABC27 News this statement regarding masking, COVID vaccinations, and Hetrick’s claims.

“The Dauphin County Commissioners are advising that CDC guidance be followed regarding masking. The commissioners have been supportive of programs and ongoing efforts to educate the public on vaccination, and we have partnered with providers to offer the vaccine to those who wish to have it. While we have not mandated masks as a county policy, we have asked department heads and staff to follow that CDC guidance within their respective departments. Additionally, the commissioners have no authority to mandate, nor do they wish to offer commentary to school districts regarding masking in their facilities. Mr. Hetrick is an independently elected official. The county commissioners do not assume public comments or positions taken by elected officials.”

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