John Krowka, Boonsboro. I wish to address today the issues of the Selection Committee for the Board of Education vacancy and measures to prevent transmission of Coronavirus.
The appointment of only registered Republicans to fill the vacancy on the Board of Education is a blatant assault on democracy. Instead of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the Commissioners have willfully chosen to subvert democracy and appoint a partisan selection committee to fill a non-partisan position. Democracy is not 5 wolves deciding what to have for dinner.
The Commissioners have failed to make known their criteria for appointment to this committee. Was the primary selection criterion for this committee their membership in the Republican Party? It certainly appears that way. I am aware of highly-qualified non-Republicans who applied but were not selected. The Commissioners have given the middle finger to all who are not members of their cult. Where is the representation for the 56% of registered voters in Washington County who are not registered Republicans? All members of this selection committee are guilty co-conspirators in this attack on representative government. The members of the selection committee can claim to be fair but their political biases raise serious doubts.
I also wish to urge the Commissioners and other elected officials to support wearing masks and practicing social distancing in public by their actions as well as their words. I witnessed Mister Cline, Wagner, Corderman, Parrott, and Dr. Thiam without masks or practicing social distancing at a recent rally in Hagerstown. Mr. Parrott’s birthday fundraiser in Hagerstown gained national notoriety in the Washington Post by the failure of many of the 300-plus attendees to wear masks or practice social distancing. Those who fail to follow official safety recommendations recklessly endanger the health of the entire community. Failure to adhere to these recommendations is an insult to families who have lost loved ones and to healthcare workers and others on the front lines in the fight against Coronavirus.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the State of Maryland recommend that people wear masks in public settings and practice social distancing. Masks and social distancing help prevent people who have Coronavirus from spreading the virus to others and help prevent transmission to people who are not infected. A wealth of scientific evidence of droplet and airborne transmission of the virus supports these recommendations.
Maryland has experienced over 137,000 Coronavirus infections and over 4000 deaths. Washington County has reported over 2100 infections and 42 deaths. Coronavirus cases are surging in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Coronavirus cases are increasing in 38 states and the District of Columbia. Many rural areas are experiencing dramatic surges in Coronavirus cases. This virus has no respect for state, county, or city boundaries. Many people travel to Washington County from areas with much higher levels of infections. Many people from Washington County travel to areas with much higher infection levels and return home so it is dangerously unwise to assume we are safe because the infection levels are relatively low here.
This is not a political issue. It is a scientific issue. We all want the country and the economy to recover as quickly as possible. However, recovery will not occur until Coronavirus is brought under control. Please set a good example for the county with your actions and urge others to follow your lead. I strongly urge the Commissioners to walk the walk and not just talk the talk so that our County and our country can build back quickly and better. Thank you.