By Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2020

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Many people in Spokane are wondering why county health officer Dr. Bob Lutz appears to be out of his job, which includes leading the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are lots of questions about why Lutz is out, but few answers.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the Spokane Regional Health District Board is supporting administrator Amelia Clark’s decision to ask Lutz to resign.

At a chaotic news conference Friday, Clark refused to say if Lutz was fired or if he resigned.

She also said there is not currently a health officer in charge of the district, and she would look for a contract worker to immediately replace Lutz.

Lutz had sometimes butted heads with some members of the board who had pushed to loosen pandemic restrictions, but board members have declined to say why they are pushing him out.

The decision to change health leadership in Spokane County coincides with another wave of COVID-19 infections. More than 200 county residents have died; dozens more are hospitalized; and almost 10,000 county residents have had the disease.

Reaction on social media was swift as users began using the hash tag “#KeepBobLutz.” He has been county health officer since 2017.

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