New Health Board Pres. bragged about destroying businesses

Dr. Jason Marker, President, St. Joseph County Board of Health

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The St. Joseph County Board of Health’s newest president bragged in emails about the “Draconian” measures taken by the board and Health Department that stripped citizens of their constitutional rights, shut down schools and permanently shuttered dozens of businesses. Dr. Jason Marker, the board’s former Vice President, was selected as the President by board members at its January 18th meeting.

In the discussion about selecting the Board’s leader, Marker said it was important that he become President because he would be the spokesperson for the board. Dr. Marker also explains that he will be fighting to keep big government intruding into the private lives and businesses of St. Joseph County citizens.

“There’s a fairly large groundswell interest for smaller government.” Marker said during the meeting. “One of the emerging problems is… the desire for small government and the will and interests of those who cannot help themselves and that’s going to come to a head in the Department of Health.”

It turns out, Marker is currently over-serving his term on the board, meaning he could be replaced by the St. Joseph County Commissioners at any time. According to the St. Joseph County website, Marker’s term expired in August of last year.


RNM discovered Dr. Marker’s braggadocious “Draconian” comments through a public records request of emails during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which Dr. Marker also insults anyone who questions his methods of shutting down businesses and forced masking.

“Contrary to what may be generally believed, we and our Health Officer, Dr. Robert Einterz, have pushed extremely hard for Draconian restrictions on business activities…” Dr. Marker wrote in part of an email from December of 2020.

The term Draconian comes from the ancient Greek legislature, Draco, who prescribed death as the penalty for nearly every criminal offense.

Miriam-Webster defines Draconian as the following:

1 law of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws held to have been framed by him


It turns out, the Draconian comparison appears to be spot on. Death to businesses is essentially what happened. In March of 2020, the South Bend Tribune wrote an article describing 62 local businesses that had closed in the year of COVID. In October, the SBT wrote another article showing business closures were up 50-percent.

And, it appears, Dr. Marker showed little care for the livelihoods of local business owners with what he continued to write in an email chain between the then president of the board and Health Officer, Dr. Robert Einterz. He also appears to show he was aware of the problematic nature of the actions he was pushing.

I prefer these conversations to happen in a dark corner of a local pub, but since you and Heidi (Dr. Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, former President of the St. Joseph County Board of Health) and I can’t quite get away with that, we’ll have to consider alternatives! Marker wrote.

I don’t want to speak for Heidi (though I fear I’m about to) but I suspect that she and I are willing to rock whatever boats we need to in the interest of public health advocacy if that gives you cover to do whatever needs to be done.

Dr. BeidingerBurnett responded enthusiastically.

I couldn’t agree more … I’m willing to rock the boat w you! I don’t know that it will matter whether we offend the commissioners or not since two of three have all declared their anti sci sentiment UNLESS Andy can reel them in.

Dr. Marker also rips into elected officials and concerned citizens for voicing their opinions. He describes people with a differing opinion than his as “anti-science”, “ignorant” and “crude”.

…the public has given us hours of crude, anti-science, willfully ignorant and grossly ill-informed opinions of our work including 4 personal threats and numerous broadly encompassing law suits to slow us down. Certain members of our County Council and County Commissioners are happily in their camp and have blocked our efforts to make progress in these areas while stripping the “teeth” from all of the interventions that they have been willing to pass to appease us.

At no point does Dr. Marker discuss the very real economic and social impacts of what he is pushing. Nor does he refer to any expert of public and economic policy. However, like a true professional, he alludes to punching a wall and abusing narcotic prescription drugs.

I’ll now be going to take a Xanax and find the drywall patch kit! He wrote.

You can read the entire email chain below.

Marker replaces failed Democrat State Representative candidate, Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, as President of the board. During her political campaign, Beidinger’s Communication’s Director voiced her optimism that enough Republican’s died from COVID that Democrats would win more seats.

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