I've lived in Texas most of my life.
But once again, my state never ceases to shock me with the outright callousness, poor judgment and stupidity shown by so many of its public officials.
The tale begins earlier this year when two young boys, an 18-month-old and a 4-year-old, become critically ill after eating a taco from a popular Brazos County restaurant.
Brazos County Health officials confirmed that their sickness was caused by ground meat that had been contaminated with E. coli bacteria and that Noah and Jack Melton got sick from the local Coco Loco restaurant.
The boys were admitted to a Houston hospital, critically ill. Their recovery took a month of hospitalization. One brother was released last week, the other this week.
But at a news conference this week to announce that the contaminated meat did indeed come from the Coco Loco restaurant, the Health Director for Brazos County, Dr. Eric Wilke, shocked everyone and showed incredible insensitivity by actually taking a bite from a beef taco from the same restaurant where the contamination had occurred!
As quoted by KHOU-TV news in Houston:
“Since everybody, I’m sure, would want to know the name of the restaurant, I went by there right before I came. I got a beef taco, so here it is,” said Dr. Eric Wilke, with the Brazos County Health Department.Parents Greg and Alissa Melton didn’t find Wilke’s stunt very funny.
Wilke paused to chew the taco before continuing with the announcement at the news conference.
“The restaurant is Coco Loco, “said Dr. Wilke. “If you want to meet there tomorrow, we could go eat lunch. I shouldn’t have taken a big bite while I’m on camera.”
Greg Melton was quoted by KHOU as saying that had Wilke’s kids been in the same situation, hospitalized for a month, “it wouldn’t have been such a joking matter.”
“They seemed more concerned about saving face for the restaurant than the critical care my kids were in,” said Greg Melton.The Brazos County Health Department’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/... is bearing the brunt of some pretty outraged Texans with demands that Wilke be reprimanded or fired
Ya’ know: I’m sure Texas doesn’t have a lock on “teh stupid” among its public officials, but sometimes I gotta wonder why so many of them live where I live.