Posted: 5/2/2023 9:24:59 AM EST
Thomas Jefferson president ‘should have known better,’ says the CEO in a note to the system’s community
The chief executive officer of Thomas Jefferson University said he was “disappointed” in president Mark Tykocinski’s “careless use” of his Twitter account in which he “liked” tweets that question the science of COVID-19 vaccines and call gender reassignment surgery “child mutilation.”
“At his level, he is held to a higher standard and should have known better,” Joseph G. Cacchione wrote in a message Sunday to Jefferson faculty, employees, and students.
Tykocinski is a Yale-educated molecular immunologist and academic leader who was elevated from provost to president July 1 and has worked at Jefferson for 16 years. He reports to Cacchione, who oversees the entire Jefferson enterprise, including the health system, which has a separate president.
Cacchione’s email to the Jefferson community, which included a letter of apology from Tykocinski, came a day after The Inquirer published a story in which employees and others were critical of Tykocinski’s “like” history on his Twitter account, which identifies him as president of Jefferson and dean of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
“Two years after their introduction, the mRNAs Covid vaccines have proven to be what we all should have expected,” said a Dec. 11 tweet by Alex Berenson, once called “the pandemic’s wrongest man” by the Atlantic. “Another in a long line of overhyped, rushed, profit-driven Big Pharma flops with weak long-term efficacy and a lousy side effect profile. …”
Tykocinski, 70, told The Inquirer in an email that he “liked” tweets to bookmark them, “to learn more about the subject matter or the particular viewpoint” and that he did not endorse the tweets or the person tweeting those thoughts.
“I regret my lack of understanding of how ‘liking’ a tweet is an implied endorsement,” he told The Inquirer. “I also regret how my lack of understanding of the Twitter platform caused some to question my views on these complex issues.”
In his letter of apology to the Jefferson community, Tykocinski said he does not believe vaccines are harmful and noted that he and all members of his family received the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I understand that my lack of knowledge of the Twitter platform created questions and unintentionally offended many,” he wrote in his apology message. “Please be assured this will be a learning experience, and I will grow as a person and professional from this misstep.”
“I understand I may lose my $500,000 salary if I don’t backpedal.”
This guy seems optimistically naive
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