“My team and I are broken. I’m almost done, ”he wrote, according to press reports.

The spooky London experience is not uncommon, said Norm Hess, executive director of the Michigan Association of Local Public Health.

“We have many examples of this across the state,” Hess said.

Whitmer refused to adopt state-level mask requirements in the new school year, leaving local health and schools officials to make those decisions and take the resulting heat from parents opposed to the mandates of school masks.

Just hours before Khaldun’s announcement, the Hess Association, which represents the state’s 45 local health departments, asked the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to impose a mask warrant across the board. state “for K-12 educational institutions, at least until COVID-19 the wave has passed.

The lack of a statewide policy “transcends the public health crisis,” Hess wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Elizabeth Hertel, appointed by Whitmer, director of the MDHHS.

“Leaving the COVID-19 monitoring response to local authorities has put many of them in professional and personal danger. Crowds of angry protests in local communities across the state intimidate local officials and prevent them from implementing local mitigation measures, ”he wrote.

“You told us that you were convinced that local residents would more easily accept a local mandate. We confidently report that it did not work out as expected, ”Hess wrote.

Vail, in Ingham County, said Khaldun told other health workers on a conference call that his young children had been identified along with the schools they attended – which is also happened to other health workers, Vail said.

“I’ve thought about it a number of times over the past few months,” Vail said. “If I had young children, I don’t know how I would do this job and be a good mother. It’s all-consuming, and the angst, threats, and bullying can anchor you in depression and anxiety even as you do this work that has become all-consuming.

Vail said that she and Khaldun had not discussed the reasons for Khaldun’s departure other than to take on another role. “I can’t speak to what was going on in his head,” she said. “I speak more in general. “

A specialist in internal medicine and infectious diseases, Bagdasarian leads Michigan’s COVID-19 testing strategy as a senior public health physician at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, although she is on sabbatical to work on the planning COVID-19 at the World Health Organization, according to the state statement.

“We are delighted that an infectious disease expert with her global experience can take on the role of Chief Medical Officer quickly and transparently,” said MDHHS Director.

The state has disclosed few details about Khaldun’s new job, noting only that he will be outside the state government. Khaldun called the job change “bittersweet,” but said in a statement that she was delighted “to continue doing my life’s work to advance bold programs and policies that promote people’s health. all communities “.

Michigan will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

A graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine and a Masters of Public Health at the University of Michigan, Bagdasarian said she was “honored” to take the job.

“I know we have a committed, purposeful and tireless team that cares deeply about public health and is moving beyond the current crisis,” she said. “I look forward to working with the MDHHS, the governor’s office and other state departments to meet this challenge and any that may arise in the future. “

Khaldun arrived in the state after leading the Detroit health department as director and health officer. The news of his departure has been greeted with regret within the local public health community, said Hess, of the Michigan Association of Local Public Health.

“I was just sending her a note thanking her for everything she’s done,” Hess told Bridge.

Hess called Khaldun a “stable and consistent voice of reason” during a pandemic that has fueled political divisions over masks, vaccines and how best to deal with a virus that has killed more than 20,800 Michiganders.

In a statement to Bridge Michigan on Friday afternoon, Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, wished Khaldun good luck. VanderWall chairs the Senate health and social services policy committee and has occasionally clashed with the Whitmer administration over pandemic policies.

“Dr. Khaldun has had a difficult role to play during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said VanderWall. “While I have not always been in agreement with his options and strategies, I have respected his credentials. and her genuine concern for those she serves in her profession. ”

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