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Qualifications of local health directors under scrutiny as politics overtakes pandemic debate | Politics

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Until 2002, the charter required directors to be medical doctors. A charter amendment approved by voters that year created the current three alternative ways of qualifying. 

St. Louis County

The qualifications of Echols’ county counterpart only came into focus in recent weeks.

During a heated St. Louis County Council meeting last month on a new mask order signed by Khan, Councilman Tim Fitch, R-3rd District, quizzed Khan about his background, asking, among other things, whether Khan was “a physician in the United States.” It was the same line of questioning Fitch posed, and Khan answered, during a council committee hearing in May.  

In an interview this week with the Post-Dispatch, Khan outlined his qualifications.

“If somebody were to ask me that question, in the right context, and in the right setting, I would say I am a medical epidemiologist with 25 years of experience in the design, implementation, management and evaluation of public health…

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