ST. LOUIS — Dr. Faisal Kahn, who last month announced plans to resign as acting health director for St. Louis County, has been named the next public health director for Public Health — Seattle & King County. The appointment was announced Wednesday by King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.
Kahn is expected to begin on Sept. 6, pending approvals from the Seattle City Council and King County Council.
The agency, with a staff of 2,000, focuses on disease protection, health promotion, and assurance of quality health care services.
Kahn, who has worked for 25 years in public health roles, previously worked at the St. Louis County Health Department from 2010 to 2018 prior to getting hired to lead the department in February 2021. He then became a face of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page's Covid-19 mask mandates, which attracted challenges and controversy.
Khan alleged that at a July 27 County Council meeting, he was faced with physical assaults, taunting and racist slurs. Partial video clips of Khan's exit from the meeting show no physical assaults, and police officers present at the meeting testified to the County Council that they heard no racist slurs.
Page said his administration would investigate after Khan was shown making an obscene gesture toward anti-mask attendees at the meeting, but never released details of that investigation.
In announcing Khan's departure from St. Louis, effective Sept. 2, Page noted how Khan "faced intense criticisms, including threats against his life, for following science and data in making decisions to keep our community safe from a deadly virus."
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