Bill Kirby, the mayor of Auburn, California, has reportedly agreed to resign after sharing a photo online that suggested supporters of President Donald Trump have easy access to KKK hoods, and as such, could use the hoods as coronavirus masks.
According to Gold Country Media, Kirby agreed to pass off his mayoral duties to another council member at the next public meeting, at the end of April. The mayor did not, however, apologize for his actions, and only expressed “regret” for some of his comments, reports the news agency.
“Am I angry and frustrated? Yes,” said Kirby, referring to the president’s coronavirus response.
“Some people have viewed my posts, which were meant to be private and made out of frustration, as over the top. Some were, and I regret that,” said the mayor, in a statement obtained by Fox-40. “The president has put us all at risk. I believe history will judge those who stood up against damaging policies and ideologies and those who did not.”
The Sacramento Bee reports that the mayor shared the post last Thursday on his private Facebook page. The post, which doesn’t appear to have been written by the mayor, says “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks.”
The post is accompanied by a picture of a person in a white hood, with a caption added by the mayor that says “True,” reports the news agency.
Below the since-deleted post, the mayor engaged with other people commenting on his post and allegedly told one person that he was just being “a realist.”
“If Hitler and everyone who supported him was removed from the face of the earth in 1939 the world would be a much better place,” the mayor allegedly wrote in a Facebook comment, reports the news agency. “The same is more true of trump and his supporters today.”
The mayor reaffirmed to Gold Country Media last week that he isn’t a Democrat, and instead identifies as a “fiscal conservative that believes in equality for everybody.”
Kirby also argued that many of the people who were angry about his Facebook post were not actually residents of Auburn, which has a population of about 14,000 people.
“They’re from all over the country,” said Kirby. “You look at all those emails, and see where they come from, and very few of them are citizens [of Auburn]. I look at them, I read them, but you gotta understand, it’s all over.”
The news agency reports that the mayor also bashed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was recently hospitalized with coronavirus, and evangelical Christians, who he suggested were deserving of coronavirus infections because they “all vote for Trump anyway.”
“That right wing corona virus denier Boris Johnson just got hospitalized. Guess which 2 should be next,” said the mayor in a Facebook comment under an Atlantic article, reports the news agency. “God bless all those evangelicals going to church in large groups…. There is no cure for stupid…. But they all vote for Trump anyway so it is ok.”