City Commissioner (and ER doctor) Chip Ross speaks out

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Submitted by Commissioner Chip Ross
City of Fernandina Beach
March 22, 2020

This is an e-mail I received from a constituent:

To: Johnny Miller‎; Chip Ross
Cc:  Len Kreger
Saturday, March 21, 2020 5:00 PM
Subject: Beach Closures

Mr. Mayor:

Very Disappointing your beach closure.  I strongly believe you and the City Commissioners have gone too far.  Walking alone on the beach and spending time in the water are 2 of my favorite healthy exercise options in the city.  If y’all wanted to target/enforce groups on the beach as the problem, then that would have been the correct measure, not an all out ban.

I will be voting against you in the straw ballot and Mr. Chip Ross at the next election.  And I do vote.

Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Chip Ross

My reply:

Thank you for your e-mail and thoughts. Here is what I hope.

#1 I am alive in November so that you can cast a ballot against me. I work in the local Emergency Department as a physician. Based on the experience of other countries, if this virus continues to spread, when I go to work, I and all the other health care providers have a significant chance of contracting the virus. In parts of Italy 10% of the doctors got sick. Some died. Because of my age alone, if I contract the virus, I have a 10% chance of dying according to many of the models.

#2 You are alive to vote against me. If you are over 65 and contract the virus, according to many models, you have a 10% chance of dying, if hospitals can get the appropriate number of ventilators and health care personal to take care of you.

#3 There is an election. That will mean that the threat of the virus has receded and life is mostly back to normal. Mr. Kreger and Mr. Lednovich will be in the straw poll for Mayor. All 5 City Commissioners supported closing the beaches, therefore it appears, if given the opportunity, you will not be voting for a Mayor in the straw poll.

I would like to share with you a face book page from friends who are living in Italy who recently moved there from Fernandina Beach.

Georgia to our north and Duval County to our south have closed their beaches. On Saturday morning I visited Seaside Park and Main Beach. Beach goers were pouring onto the beach with the amount of people doubling on the beach every 2 hours. From my informal poll of multiple people entering the beach [standing at least 6 feet away] most were from elsewhere. Large signs stated stay 6 feet apart. They were largely ignored. It was estimated that 9,000 people were on the City beaches last weekend. This is not social distancing.

I would also like to share with you the following graph from Stanford University concerning Florida. For full details go to

What these graphs show is that if Florida citizens and visitors do strict social distancing, meaning staying home except to go out for work, food and other necessities we should have little loss of life. If we follow your plan, the hospital will be overwhelmed and a lot of people will die. If you have different information please let me know.

If you have any further thoughts, please let me know. I can be reached at [email protected]

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