Parson defends health director after anti-vaccine-warrant rally


Gov. Mike Parson on Monday defended his choice for Missouri’s chief health officer after opponents of the vaccine mandate gathered in the rotunda of the Missouri Capitol to register their opposition to his choice.

Dozens of people against coronavirus vaccination mandates in Missouri gathered in the rotunda before heading to a room where the Senate Governors Nominations Committee was accepting Donald Kauerauf’s nomination for health director of State. Parson chose Kauerauf over the summer when the legislature was out of session, so the nomination is currently being considered with the legislature in session.

Opponents of the vaccination mandate who rallied on Monday are against the nomination, saying Kauerauf supports vaccination 100%. However, Kauerauf has never said publicly that he favors vaccination mandates.

“To set the record straight, Don is strongly pro-life and anti-abortion and against the government’s imposition of mask wearing and COVID-19 vaccinations,” Parson said in a statement. “These were his views and beliefs when I appointed him, and they remain today.”

Parson criticized state officials who oppose Kauerauf but did not name them. Sen. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) spoke at the rally and is a member of the nominating committee.

“It’s disturbing to see some Missouri officials standing up for purely political reasons and stoking fears with no regard for the truth,” Parson said. “I implore Missouri senators to assess the qualifications of the person, not to be misled by the repeated misinformation on social media.”

The committee did not vote on the nomination on Monday.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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