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Harford County health officer blames politics for his sudden firing

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Posted at 9:35 PM, Oct 27, 2021

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. — Harford County’s top health official has been fired.

Dr. David Bishai, who was the county’s health officer since January, said he was terminated last week after the county council voted to remove him.

The Maryland Department of Health later signed off on the firing.

Bishai said he was first told about his termination during a meeting with state health officials Friday.

He said he was blindsided by the decision.

“It did come out of nowhere,” he said. “They didn’t call me. They didn’t tell me that they were thinking of terminating me. They still haven’t explained why they’ve done his action.”

For months, Bishai has been under scrutiny for his support for mask wearing in schools.

Protesters also called for his resignation during tense school board meetings.

Bishai believes the political pressure from what he calls a “vocal minority” led to his departure.

“The people who come and testify are a minority and week after week after week, it takes a toll and the politics have changed the judgement of my county council,” he said.

Jared DeCoste said Bishai was the voice of reason during the pandemic, adding he was “floored” by the council’s decision.

DeCoste created a change.org petition calling for Bishai to get his job back. It now has more than 1,000 signatures.

“What this is is a battle between science and fact and opinion and feeling,” he said.

WMAR-2 News reached out to the county council about why Bishai was fired but we have yet to hear back at time of publication.

The state health department did respond to us but said “MDH does not comment on the specifics of personnel matters”.