A pediatric anesthesiologist has been banned from seeing patients at Denver Health Medical Center in Colorado after she posted racially charged comments about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.
Dr. Michelle Herren posted a photo of Obama yelling along with text, "Doesn't seem to be speaking too eloquently here, thank god we can't hear her! Harvard??? That's a place for 'entitled" folks said all the liberals!” KMGH-TV reported.
Image source: KMGH-TV
Herren then added, "Monkey face and poor ebonic English!!! There! I feel better and am still not racist!!! Just calling it like it is!" the station said.
Image source: KMGH-TV
The hospital told KMGH on Tuesday that it can't control opinions employees express as private individuals, but on Thursday told the station, "Until further notice, Michelle Herren, MD, will not be seeing patients or providing anesthesia services at Denver Health Medical Center." Herren has been with the hospital since October 2007.
The University of Colorado School of Medicine also has initiated the process of terminating Herren's faculty appointment, KHGH said.
"She has expressed values that are at odds with ours and she has compromised her ability to meet the teaching and patient care missions of the School of Medicine," Dean John J. Reilly Jr. said in a Thursday statement, the station said.
While Herren's Facebook page has been taken down, KMGH said the doctor talked to the station over the phone, saying her comment was taken "out of context" and that she didn't know “monkey face” is an offensive term. Herren added to the station that she was responding to another post pointing out that people say offensive things about Melania Trump — but when things are said about Michelle Obama they're deemed racist.
Denver Health's Facebook statement, KMGH said:
Denver Health is deeply disappointed by the remarks posted on social media by Dr. Michelle Herren against the First Lady of the United States. We are offended by the comments made by this individual, who was acting independently in her private capacity. Her views are contrary to the mission and values of Denver Health, and to our staff and patients. Denver Health proudly serves people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and social backgrounds — and our staff and patient population truly reflect our diverse community and nation. We are reaching out to all of our patients, employees and physicians to reinforce our culture, mission and beliefs that all individuals regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation are deserving of dignity and respect.