Notre Dame President Faces Calls to Resign: ‘Disregard for Public Health’

The president of Notre Dame is facing calls to resign after he attended a White House ceremony two weeks ago without a mask, days before he tested positive for COVID-19.

Rev. John I. Jenkins was confirmed to have the coronavirus Oct. 2, seven days after the White House event at which Judge Amy Coney Barrett was announced as the next Supreme Court nominee.

Jenkins has advocated for strict measures at Notre Dame to help combat the pandemic, so his appearance at the event, and the fact he was sitting close to others and was seen hugging people and shaking hands, has caused an uproar at the university.

CNN noted more than 200 students signed a petition that asks Jenkins to resign.

“Fr. Jenkins’ public displays of disregard for public health directly contradict his commitment to the Notre Dame community, directly endanger the safety of students, faculty and staff, and also cast a negative light on the Notre Dame community as a whole,” the petition reads.

Jenkins apologized to the Notre Dame community two days after his diagnosis, saying, “I failed to lead by example, at a time when I’ve asked everyone else in the Notre Dame community to do so.”

So far, Jenkins is still the university president after the Faculty Senate decided earlier this week to delay taking action on a student resolution that sought a no-confidence vote, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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