California city official says COVID-19 should be allowed to ‘fix’ society by culling elderly, weak and homeless
Kenneth Turnage suggested that COVID-19 be allowed to weed out the elderly, weak and sick to the benefit of society.(Facebook)
A California city official said COVID-19 should be allowed to run its course, killing elderly and homeless residents to “fix what is a significant burden on our society.”
Now his public position could be a pandemic-era casualty, and he’s calling that a violation of his rights.
Ken Turnage, a member of the city planning commission in Antioch, said in a now-deleted April 23 Facebook post that coronavirus lockdowns should be lifted to “let nature take its course.”
“We would have significant loss of life, we would lose many elderly, that would reduce burdens in our defunct Social Security System, health care cost — once the wave subsided — make jobs available for others and it would also free up housing in which we are in dire need of,” Turnage 47, wrote, according to the East Bay Times.
In another excerpt reported by SFGate.com, Turnage said the natural spread of COVID-19 would also cull the “herd” of other people he considered undesirable.
“Then we have our other sectors such as our homeless and other people who just defile themselves by either choice or mental issues,” he wrote. “This would run rampant through them and yes I am sorry but this would fix what is a significant burden on our Society and resources that can be used.”
Antioch’s mayor, Steve Wright, called for a special city council meeting Friday night to recommend Turnage be removed from the Planning Commission.
In an email to the Daily News, Turnage said he’s fighting the move. He doubled down on his position and shared the comments he planned to submit for the special meeting.
“It is disheartening that I am being removed due to a personal opinion that has nothing to do with the city or my position on the planning commission. My opinion that I opened for debate is based on the theory of Ecological Balance which is science,” he wrote.
“Yes, I do understand that it is a difficult topic and even prefaced that if people are unable to handle an alternate opinion don’t read any further,” he said.
“The idea of letting nature run its course was practiced by Sweden and at first The World Health Organization was strictly against it! Now as of yesterday, The World Health Organization says we should learn from Sweden! Ironic isn’t it?” he wrote.
“This virus is targeting certain sectors of the World. I did not decide these sectors or create this virus. I merely spoke on what could potentially happen to those sectors plus others including myself,” he said. “Yes my analogies in hindsight could have been different to make the same point, for that I am sorry but hindsight is 20/20.”
Turnage said removing him from office, based on his opinions, would be a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech.
An agenda posted online said the city council meeting would start at 7 p.m. local time and be streamed live.
“It is recommended that the City Council make a motion to remove Commissioner Kenneth Turnage, II from the City of Antioch Planning Commission and direct the City Clerk to advertise the vacancy of one partial-term on the Planning Commission,” the agenda item said.