MO DHSS Director Resigns; Gov. Parson Names Robert Knodell As Acting Director
According to a press release, Gov. Parson accepted a letter of resignation from Dr. Randall Williams earlier on Tues. Apr. 20.
Deputy Chief of Staff Robert Knodell has been named as the Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, effective immediately.
Gov. Parson commented on the recent announcement. "As Deputy Chief of Staff, Robert brings valuable knowledge and leadership experience to our team and the entire state of Missouri".
Parson continued to speak about Robert's experience. "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."
Gov. Parson also thanked Dr. Randall Williams for his service in Missouri's top health role.
"Dr. Williams has been a huge asset to Missouri, especially this past year in dealing with COVID-19", said Parson. "We greatly appreciate all the work he has done for the people of our state and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Williams has been health director since 2017. During his tenure, he’s come under fire from critics who accuse him and others in the Parson administration of blocking access to abortions through restrictive laws.
Williams has also supported Parson’s approach to the health crisis, which allowed local leaders to decide whether to put preventative measures in place.
The state has resisted issuing statewide mask mandates and other restrictions, even though doctors have implored state officials for more widespread policies.