David McKalip — the Florida neurosurgeon and healthcare reform opponent who sent a racist email showing President Obama dressed as a witch doctor with a loin cloth and a bone through his nose, which was posted yesterday by TPMmuckraker — has apologized directly to the president.
Through a P.R. representative, McKalip put out the following statement:
DR. DAVID MCKALIP SENDS APOLOGY DIRECTLY TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
McKalip apologizes for sending insensitive image via e-mail
St. Petersburg, FL (July 23, 2009) – David McKalip, M.D., brain and spine neurosurgeon of St. Petersburg has never been shy in expressing where he stands regarding President Barack Obama’s health-care reform. Despite McKalip’s position on health system reform, he sends a sincere apology for a forwarded image of President Obama in an e-mail depicting the president in Papua New Guinean tribal garb with a logo beneath it saying, “Obama Care.”
“I genuinely regret the decision I made in passing this e-mail message along. Directly to President Obama, I sincerely apologize for offending him. This was, in no way whatsoever, my intention. The image has nothing to do with my feelings or thoughts on any race or culture. I recognize that this image is offensive and hope that the nation refocuses on assuring all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care with no party interfering in the patient-physician relationship. My intention is to focus directly on the issue at hand, which is putting financial and decision-making power into the hands of patients and taking it from government and insurance companies,” said McKalip.
The image forwarded was from a long chain of e-mails and not created by McKalip.
Late Update: It’s worth noting that McKalip wasn’t always so contrite in his response to the flap.