Imagine supporting a mask mandate because you care about humanity, but then people threaten your life.
That was the story of Joyce Warshaw, the Mayor of Dodge City, who has decided to step down from her position. On Tuesday, Warshaw submitted her resignation letter to be effective immediately.
Warshaw is concerned about her safety after receiving numerous death threats over her support of a mask mandate.
“Life has dealt out many challenges in our world that have perhaps caused many people to act inappropriately but I do not feel safe in this position anymore and am hopeful in removing myself this anger, accusations and abuse will not fall on anyone else and will calm down,” Warshaw wrote in the letter.
Last month, the Dodge City Commission voted for a mask mandate after the area saw a surge in coronavirus cases. Last week, Warshaw supported the mandate in a USA Today article.
COVID-19 cases have spiked across the nation, and with the threat of the novel virus coupled with the flu, city officials chose to add a layer of precaution, masks.
“We just felt like we had to do something so everybody was aware of how important it was for everybody to be responsible for each other’s health and well-being,” Warshaw was quoted in the story, causing backlash from citizens.
After the article went public, Warshaw said she started getting calls and emails from citizens threatening her. Authorities are now looking into the threats.
“I understand people are under a lot of pressure from various things that are happening around society like the pandemic, the politics, the economy, so on and so forth, but I also believe that during these times people are acting not as they normally would,” Warshaw told the Daily Globe. “I think it’s best for me and the city that I love to remove myself from the commission at this time and from the mayorship so that the city can move forward and be the best that it can be because I believe in the city.”
The vacancy will be discussed by the city’s commission later this month.