Health system board chair resigns over social media comments

North Carolina

Donnie Loftis, chairman of CaroMont Health’s board and former Gaston County commissioners chairman. (Source: CaroMont Health via The Charlotte Observer)

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — The chairman of the board of a North Carolina health care system has resigned after reports about his social media posts, including one in which he called stay-at-home orders “tyranny.”

CaroMont Health board of directors chairman Donnie Loftis resigned on Monday after eight years, The Charlotte Observer reported.

On his personal Facebook page, Loftis showed support for anti-abortion protesters who violated the stay-at-home order. Gaston County issued a stay-at-home order on March 26. Loftis appeared to support the county order at first, but in April Loftis shared a picture of a pie chart that read: “What I worry about. COVID-19: 0.5, Loss of my rights: 99.5. You should be worried about also.”

CaroMont previously said board members’ personal opinions and beliefs “are not statements made on the behalf of CaroMont Health nor an indication of the health system’s position on any topic, situation or circumstance.”

After the newspaper inquired about the posts, Loftis made his Facebook page private.

Board vice chairman David Payseur will step in as acting chairman, according to CaroMont.

In late April, The Gaston Gazette reported that a 23-year-old CaroMont nurse spent much of April hospitalized with coronavirus.

CaroMont is a regional health care system that includes physician practices and a 435-bed hospital.

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