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Missouri health director resigns

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s health director resigned Tuesday amid the state’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, Gov. Mike Parson announced.

Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams was appointed to the job in 2017 by Parson’s predecessor, then-Gov. Eric Greitens. Both Greitens and Parson are Republicans.

Greitens resigned in 2018 amid multiple scandals and in the face of impeachment. His departure elevated Parson, then the state’s lieutenant governor, to the governor’s mansion.

Robert Knodell

Parson said he was naming his deputy chief of staff, Robert Knodell, to be the state’s acting health director.

“As Deputy Chief of Staff, Robert brings valuable knowledge and leadership experience to our team and the entire state of Missouri,” Parson said in a press release. “For more than a year, he has also played a leading role in Missouri’s COVID-19 response efforts, and I am more than confident in him to take over as Acting Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services.”

Parson accepted a letter of resignation from Williams earlier today.

“We greatly appreciate all the work he has done for the people of our state and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Parson said.

Parson said Knodell had also been leading the state’s COVID-19 response. But Knodell has no medical background as Williams does.

MetroSTL.com staff contributed to this report.

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