CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Some controversial statements related to coronavirus appeared on the Facebook profile of a Chesapeake School Board member in May and June. They spurred a public response from the board.
On June 29, a post on Christie New Craig's profile included a number of claims about coronavirus. Part of the post said: "the government has successfully figured out a way to make you believe that Covid-19 [sic] is deadly." It also stated: "this is all being done to keep Trump from winning again in 2020."
New Craig also said, "As far as wearing a mask if you feel that it is protecting you then I support you, but I choose not to wear one. Again, this is a test to see who and how many will succumb to their demands! 🤬"
You can read a screenshot of the full post below.
Health experts from Sentara Healthcare all the way to the Centers for Disease Control have said wearing a mask prevents the wearer from potentially spreading coronavirus-carrying droplets from your breath to people nearby.
Gov. Ralph Northam has mandated that people wear face masks when they go to public indoor areas, like stores or offices.
An image of a fortune cookie, displaying the message "You not have coronavirus," also appeared on New Craig's profile. It included a caption that indicated it was a COVID-19 rapid test kit from China.
13News Now made several attempts to get in touch with New Craig by phone and through Facebook. Since we started making those attempts, she chaned her Facebook settings to "private."
Victoria Proffitt, the chairwoman of the school board, posted a response to her campaign Facebook page Thursday night.
In the statement, Proffitt said "Board members maintain their right to freedom of expression. However, it is important to note that the opinions of one Board member do not represent the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and/or opinions of the other Board members ... or the school district."
The posts come at a time when families and governments across the country are deciding what to do about school in the fall, while there is no coronavirus vaccine.
On Sunday, New Craig wrote on her campaign page, "I SUPPORT Opening schools in September!!!"
The Chesapeake School Board released its back-to-school plans for the city earlier this week.
Under the new guidance, parents would be able to make individual choices about whether or not to send students back to in-person classes. Teachers also would get a choice of whether to teach virtually or in-person.
Middle and high-school students would be required to wear face masks in school in any in-person instruction situation. Masks will be recommended for elementary school students, even in a best-case-scenario for fall COVID-19 spread in Virginia.