A response from Ocala’s doctors
Dr. David Kuhn of Ocala Health holds up a chart showing the increase in COVID-19 positive cases and deaths in Marion County as he speaks in favor of an emergency ordinance to require face coverings during the Ocala City Council meeting at Ocala City Hall in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The City Council voted 3-2 against the emergency mask ordinance suggested by Councilman Matt Wardell that would have required people in Ocala to wear face coverings in indoor locations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2020.
The position taken by Sheriff Woods is wholly disheartening to the local health care community. We have always felt that first responders and law enforcement are partners with the health care community in the service of Marion County’s public health and safety.
During this public health crisis, our local health care providers have no political motivations. We are dedicated to the care of our patients, the health of our community, and the preservation of a prosperous local economy.
The intensifying political division within the community has hindered our pandemic response and resulted in record growth of COVID-19, garnering national attention. We offer a public call for unanimity from local elected officials, the Marion County Department of Health, and local law enforcement in strongly encouraging the universal application of social distancing and the use of face masks, as a powerful demonstration of unity and consistency in the message of leadership at a time when it is so desperately needed.
We further call on the general public, as a patriotic act of civic duty, personal responsibility and compassion, to use face masks when in public spaces, allowing our most vulnerable members of the community to more safely rejoin society.
Dr. David Kuhn, founder and medical director of Trinity Clinic, wrote this on behalf of the hundreds of doctors who also jointly wrote a letter to the Ocala City Council last month seeking a mandatory mask ordinance.