Ken Turnage II was chairman of the city planning commission in Antioch, California until late last week.
Then his comments about leaving the sick and old to die from the virus resulted in his removal.
According to the Associated Press, Turnage wrote about "culling the herd" in a since-deleted Facebook post, saying:
"The World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature."
Turnage also mentioned that it would be convenient if "homeless and other people who just defile themselves by either choice or mental issues" died because that "would fix what is a significant burden on our Society and resources that can be used."
Antioch Planning Commissioner Caught in Coronavirus Comment Controversy youtu.be
Ken Turnage II has no business being a public official. What a gross human being. https://t.co/rsO0MBfj1d— B Djojonegoro 🏳️🌈 🔥 (@B Djojonegoro 🏳️🌈 🔥)1588275953.0
Many local officials were horrified by Turnage's opinions.
Antioch Mayor Sean Wright—who appointed Turnage to his position—describing the Facebook post as "abhorrent."
My heavenly days..... Ken Turnage is a heartless despicable man who was rightly removed from office. https://t.co/OXxKzOlYqj— Juanita Broaddrick (@Juanita Broaddrick)1588443616.0
Wright issued a statement, saying:
"As public officials in one of the largest and most diverse cities in Contra Costa County, we are called to serve all residents of Antioch; whether young or old, rich or poor, healthy or unhealthy, housed or unhoused."
The mayor told reporters he urged Turnage to step down after his comments went public, but Turnage refused.
Throughout this entire process, the former city planner has continued to claim he's done nothing wrong.
With a unanimous vote on Friday, May 1, the Antioch City Council removed Turnage from his office.
#Antioch removes planning commission member Ken Turnage II after 'culling the herd' remarks tied to Covid-19… https://t.co/mMjnVLW5WM— SFBay.ca (@SFBay.ca)1588454041.0
Republican Ken Turnage says aloud what is whispered in the White House and among the #GOP every hour of every day.… https://t.co/xnV7gA4vK2— Shelby Kent-Stewart ™ (@Shelby Kent-Stewart ™)1588519736.0
Turnage spoke before the council voted, saying:
"My personal opinion had nothing to do with the city or my position on the planning commission. So to try to somehow link them or create a nexus to further your political agendas is shameful."
He also falsely claimed that facing consequences for his words was a violation of his first amendment rights.
@kurteichenwald Please feel free to ask Kenny why he thinks it's ok to kill fellow Americans? Below find his busine… https://t.co/X0ACxMHlpn— CatMayBeAngry (@CatMayBeAngry)1588280823.0
Not too surprising that guys like this, Antioch commission Chairman Ken Turnage II, advocate things for you that he… https://t.co/k8T8yekt2v— New Carthage Chronicles (@New Carthage Chronicles)1588265077.0
This incident serves as a gentle reminder for public officials everywhere.
If you want to continue serving the public, you shouldn't call for their deaths.