SELINSGROVE — Dr. Jennifer Rager-Kay, a Selinsgrove Area School District director, apologized Monday for a recent social media post in which she suggested that people who refuse to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic were committing a life-threatening act worthy of reprisal in kind.
The apology, posted Monday morning, cited what Rager-Kay called “the hypocrisy of those who refuse to wear face masks yet walk around openly carrying guns.”
Rager-Kay, a physician, conceded that protests and defiance of public health orders had personally led her to a “boiling point.” She admitted the “overly dramatic and exaggerated post” was the result.
“My words demonstrated how constitutional rights can be misinterpreted, and were meant to serve as an example of extremism,” Rager-Kay noted. “Bioterrorism is, however, a real threat and refusal to prevent the intentional release or dissemination of biological agents by not wearing a mask during a global pandemic is a clear example.”
She also apologized for words which were derogatory in any way, citing a “concern and compassion for human life” which got the better of her.
The private Facebook post contained a photo of anti-lockdown protesters. Rager-Kay’s observation was that those who believe wearing a mask would violate their constitutional rights are also “against any form of gun regulation” on the same grounds.
“As a conceal carry permitted gun owner, if you refuse to wear a mask and try to come within 6 feet of me or my family,” Rager-Kay concluded in the original post. “I will exercise the same constitutional rights to shoot you.”
Most protesters in the photo appeared to be carrying guns, yet a few also wore face masks.
Rager-Kay noted Monday that someone chose to make the private post public and distribute it to members of the news media.
There have also been what she called “drastic efforts to affect (her) personal and professional life.” They have included calls for Rager-Kay to resign as school director.
Rager-Kay twice ran for State House and was defeated by now-Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa. 12) in 2018 and Rep. David Rowe (R-85) in a 2019 special election.