Controversy at City Hall as vaccine debate rages on - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Controversy at City Hall as vaccine debate rages on

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Spokane City Council is trying to figure out what to do next after a week of controversy surrounding council member Mike Fagan. Spokane City Council is trying to figure out what to do next after a week of controversy surrounding council member Mike Fagan.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Right now, Spokane City Council is trying to figure out what to do next after a week of controversy surrounding council member Mike Fagan's comments about vaccines. Councilman Fagan publicly yelled at council president Ben Stuckart, calling him a coward after Stuckart tried to clarify the role of council members. Fagan says he thinks it's important that he not resign from his position on the health board despite the controversy, because he says he's representing a minority opinion. He says he's gotten hundreds of emails supporting him and his position.

"I got a flood of emails, with dead toddlers, mothers and fathers who, several days after they got their child their vaccines, the child's brains started to swell up, and then autism starts to sets in, and then add ADHD," Fagan said.

At a special council hearing Thursday night, KHQ cameras were rolling during a heated exchange between Mike Fagan and Council President Ben Stuckart. Fagan walked up to Stuckart and called him a coward, and says he stands by his comments. Friday we had the chance to speak to both.

Those comments are stirring up controversy, and creating tension at City Hall. Both Fagan and Stuckart call the attention a "distraction" from the work of local government, though each blame the other.

Stuckart said, "Frankly he can have his own opinions on his personal Facebook page, but when he started talking to reporters and equivocating vaccines like forced sterilizations, I think it became a public issue." 

He went on to say he's never seen anything like this. "Councilman Fagan came from around the table, and he was the first one to start screaming at me. He got right in my personal space, and then people started coming towards me. I felt threatened. It was inappropriate. There was nothing appropriate about what happened last night."

Fagan says he will not resign from the Board of Health, nor will be stop advocating against vaccines, for one important reason.

"If I do get the boot…what happens to the voice of those 7-10% of the people that do think like me? What happens to their voice? They are squelched. They were silenced, and that's not this job is about. I'm here to represent the people," Fagan said.

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