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South Dakota Healthcare CEO Fired After Disparaging Mask Use, Says No COVID Crisis

Kelby Krabbenhoft of Sanford Health was terminated after his remarks became public.

Krabbenhoft's email to staff that mask use was absurd did not go over well and within days he was let go from a job that reportedly paid him $1.9mil a year.

North and South Dakota have among the highest death rates per capita from COVID-19 on the planet right now.

According to their website, Sanford Health operates 46 hospitals, 210 medical clinics, and employs over 47,000.

Source: KELO, Sioux Falls

Kelby Krabbenhoft and Sanford Health have agreed to part ways, Sanford announced in a news release at about 5:45 p.m. today.

Bill Gassen will replace Krabbenhoft as the president and chief executive officer of Sanford effective immediately. Gassen was the chief administrator officer for Sanford.

“Bill is the right person to lead Sanford Health through these unprecedented times because of his substantial experience with many aspects of the organization and his deep commitment to our workforce,” board chairman Brent Teiken said. “We’re extremely optimistic about having his steady hand at the wheel in partnership with our existing leadership team.”

Krabbenhoft last week wrote a letter to staff that caused a chain reaction. The letter included this statement about mask-wearing during the pandemic: “Masks have been a symbolic issue that frankly frustrates me.” He went on to write: “The “on-again, off-again” behavior of mask use by the general population violates every notion of serious infectious management that I was trained to adhere to, so some of this is absurd.”

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