By Rebecca Gaunt
David Banks, vice chairman of the Cobb County School Board, hasn’t let previous criticism stop him when it comes to disseminating debunked COVID-19 information.
The latest email, sent to parents from the official account assigned to him as a school board member, states that the “government is intentionally killing its citizens” and “do not take the shots if you have not already done so.”
At a recent Cobb Board of Health meeting, Superintendent Chris Ragsdale stated that the district was following 7 of the 8 (masks remain optional) recommended CDC protocols for mitigation. One of those recommendations is encouraging vaccination.
Ragsdale’s statement has raised questions from the public about how many strategies are really being followed since little social distancing has been observed in areas like the cafeteria, on-site testing has not yet been implemented, and the watchdog group Watching the Funds has pointed out a lack of system-wide ventilation improvements.
The email from Banks included debunked information about the number of deaths caused by the vaccine and the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to treat COVID.
The email did not appear to contain any original content from Banks, rather he was sharing information sent to him from someone signed E.L., or as the attachment reveals, Emery Leonard, Jr.
Banks has previously forwarded information from Leonard to the public but he has not responded to requests for more information on his identity.
A brief biography is included on the attached document that says “Emery Leonard of Atlanta, Georgia, a Florida native, is a retired Naval Officer, and manager. An MBA graduate of Auburn University, he is a certified benefits and compensation professional.”
It also states, “A mailing list was created so that from time to time I may send you confirmed facts about current issues. My intention is to provide only true facts, show how they may interplay, or even affect you personally. Any factual information I may cite will not come from the media, as the media is not a reliable and trustworthy source. Only original, confirmed sources will be used. Since many of us are busy and don’t have the time to research issues, I would like to provide this information free to you. You may forward these short writings to anyone you think may be interested.”
The document is signed by Emery Leonard, CEO, Macht Im Wissen, Inc.
Macht Im Wissen is described on the document as providing “readers fact-based information on current issues at no cost and eliminat[ing] misinformation or false information by presenting true, verified facts.”
A general list of sources used by Leonard is listed at the end of the document: court records, textbooks, medical drug trials, independently verified Wikipedia postings, official autobiographies, PACER, Westlaw and Nexus Lexus (sic).
The Courier tried to contact Leonard at the email address provided on the document to request the specific sources he used for the claims that “there is no valid test for COVID-19” and that the “shots contain toxic chemicals, can penetrate the brain with injury, and have components that infect the entire human body.” He has not yet responded.
Dr. Timothy Lin, a Cobb parent and ICU doctor, responded to the claim in the email that the “shots were proven not to work almost two years ago.”
“Logically, how is it that there are so many people dying from the vaccine and I have not seen one? And yet I have taken care of so many patients dying unnecessarily from COVID, What purpose does the government have to kill its citizens? Is he saying that the vaccine which was developed under the authorization from Donald Trump and promoted by Joe Biden was made in a bipartisan fashion to kill everyone?” Lin told the Courier. “To say the shots don’t work means he doesn’t understand math. Approximately 97% of patients hospitalized or dying from COVID are unvaccinated. I would make the argument that Mr. Banks is perpetuating a lie that is getting people killed.”
Rachel Lekherzak, a Cobb parent, was one of the recipients of the email.
“This really is reckless behavior. I’d support any effort to remove him…this is the only response I’ve ever received to my emails to the school board,” she said.
Parent Brenda Rodriguez also received it.
She told the Courier, “There is no accountability for him. The superintendent has said multiple times that they ‘strongly’ encourage vaccines and ‘strongly’ encourage masks, yet David Banks continues to do the opposite.”
Rebecca Gaunt earned a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Oglethorpe University. After teaching elementary school for several years, she returned to writing. She lives in Marietta with her husband, son, two cats, and a dog. In her spare time, she loves to read, binge Netflix and travel.