Skip to main content

Press Releases - County Council

Statement from the Montgomery County Council and County Executive Elrich in support of Dr. Travis Gayles and denouncing hate speech and harassment

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 17, 2020

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 17, 2020—The Montgomery County Council and County Executive Marc Elrich made the following statement on the recent harassment and hate speech County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles has received over the County's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Gayles has been Montgomery County's health officer and chief of public health services since 2017. 

We are united in our ongoing support for County Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles and recognize the outstanding work he is doing to protect the public health and safety of our community. Montgomery County is fortunate to have an accomplished, dedicated and highly skilled leader providing our public health guidance and making extremely difficult choices to ensure our public health and welfare.

Hate has no place in our inclusive community. We denounce all forms of hate speech and harassment. Montgomery County residents and public employees should be free to go about their daily lives and conduct their work without the fear of hate speech and harassment. This includes Dr. Gayles, who has received hate-filled comments and endured homophobic and racial slurs, while working relentlessly each day to combat the public health impacts of COVID-19.

In the face of the largest and most challenging global pandemic in modern history, Dr. Gayles has consistently followed the latest scientific data and evidence in his decision-making. His work is instrumental in achieving our ultimate goal, which is protecting public health.

We are exceedingly grateful to Dr. Gayles for his ongoing leadership, commitment and integrity. We stand in solidarity with Dr. Gayles and his team, as we continue working together to protect and serve more than one million Montgomery County residents.

Release ID: 20-370
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931