Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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Letters to the editor Oct. 15

| October 15, 2020 12:00 AM

Disappointed by commissioners

As an employer and company leader, I am deeply disappointed by local leaders’ failure to lead during a deadly pandemic. With cases and hospitalizations surging, equating the irresponsible choice to not wear a mask and contribute to the spread of COVID-19 as a “Constitutional right of Montanans” is wrong. The right to intentionally or unintentionally spread the virus is no more a Constitutional right than the right to drive drunk. Both endanger the health and safety of the public and put the entire community at risk.

The top priority of community leaders should be to protect the health and safety of its citizens and safeguard the community’s economic viability. For the greater good of our entire economy and out of respect for the safety of all front-line and health care workers, everyone should mask up, avoid gathering and social distance.

In times of crisis leaders should not provide cover for the irresponsible behavior of the worst of us but set the example of the best behavior for the rest of us.

As a local businessman I believe I have an obligation and responsibility to protect the health and safety of my employees and safeguard the company’s capabilities to safely serve our customers and our community without contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

Is it too much to expect our elected community leaders to do the same?

—Brian Clark, Kalispell

Words and actions matter

I read, with considerable dismay, the Oct 9 article; “As cases climb, commissioners say mask-wearing should be a choice.”

I say words and actions matter. Respect for the law and respect for each other is part of our Constitution’s foundation. For our Flathead County Commissioners to say “they support the Constitutional rights of Montanans to make choices about personal protection for themselves and their families,” does nothing to encourage our local citizens of their duties and obligations under that same Constitution.

I was taught we should support and defend the Constitution, stay informed of the issues affecting your community, participate in the democratic process, respect and obey federal, state, and local laws, respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others and participate in the local community.

Do our county commissioners understand, respect and obey federal, state, and local laws when making this statement?

First, we experienced their political take on our elections and now to create mixed messages when we should have a common theme for the Flathead citizens’ health. The Centers Disease Control and Prevention called on Americans to wear masks to prevent COVID-19 spread (July 14). Governor Bullock issues a directive requiring face coverings in specific indoor spaces and outdoor gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (July 15) and immediately followed by the local Flathead City-County Health Department (July 15). What do you think we should do for the safety of our citizens?

Our common civic values unite us as a democratic nation. Through courtesy and respect for others’ beliefs and opinions, tolerance becomes the framework of a civilized society and ensures the continuation of liberty and freedom for future generations.

—Leland Walbruch, Kalispell

Petition filed

The Flathead County Commissioners were presented with a Petition of Complaint and Affidavits of Harm on behalf of 3,096 people on Sept. 24, 2020. The petition includes evidence on faulty testing, fraudulent death recording, not only how the masks are ineffective, but even harmful to health, and information regarding the dangerous new technology RNA COVID-19 vaccine. The petition declares that the commissioners can rescind the state of emergency that they themselves declared in March. Mandates or directives are not law and breathing the fresh air is a God-given right, as well as our individual liberty as protected by the Constitution of the state of Montana and the Constitution of the United States. The people have the right to make their own health-care choices such as mask wearing, testing or vaccination.

We the people of Montana have a duty and responsibility as recipients of the republic to redress grievances such as: harms being done to the people like loss of income, injuries as a direct result from forced mask wearing, and loss of individual liberty. What is being done is fraudulent because, in my opinion, there is no true pandemic. According to my research, COVID-19, a common cold, has a 99.9% survival rate.

Unelected “authorities” can’t be in positions of power over the representatives who appointed them; otherwise we don’t have representative government. The situation needs to be remedied now before forced masks are turned into forced vaccination. The governor already proclaimed in a recent speech that it’s the authority and duty of the state to fight outbreaks of disease by imposing mandatory vaccination orders.

So, please email and call the commissioners to rescind the false state of emergency so the medical tyranny can stop. The Founders gave us the legacy of a free country - let’s be proactive toward keeping it for the sake of our posterity.

—Mary Patton, Evergreen

Show some leadership

Flathead County recently has been averaging almost 100 new cases each day of Covid-19. Steve Bullock announced that local government has the tools to limit spread of Covid-19. I have been waiting to hear from our local government. In Friday’s Daily Inter Lake article I got the answer as the commissioners announced they “support the Constitutional rights of Montanans to make choices about personal protection for themselves and families.” In other words, mask wearing should be a choice.

Could someone please show me where in the constitution it says that I can jeopardize other citizen’s health and welfare by the action or inaction of my behavior? If that’s the case it means according to the constitution I have the right to drink and drive as well.

The economic health of the Flathead Valley is important to every one of us. It is extremely important as we enter the cold months to keep the virus under control. It is scientifically proven that mask wearing helps us all with this goal. This is when we need local leadership to lead with good decisions to protect the public and economy.

During World War II when Ford was told by the federal government to produce Jeeps, tanks and trucks for the war effort did you hear anybody say “That’s unconstitutional, government cannot tell me what to manufacture.” No, no one ever said that as we were all in this together.

As to Commissioner Phil Mitchell’s comment “thanking the health care community.” Phil, the best way to thank the health care community is to listen to them, show your leadership, wear a mask and encourage other to wear a mask.

—Orrin Webber, Kalispell

Kick in the teeth

The devil-may-care attitude of the Flathead County Commissioners toward public-health precautions is a kick in the teeth of every doctor, nurse and public-health employee working to try and keep people alive during a pandemic.

It’s also a reminder of how important it is to vote the entire ballot. With this election, we can begin to change how our government at is run at all levels. Don’t believe — or vote for — anyone who claims, like the commissioners, that they’re “powerless” to do anything about the problems we face. Vote for people with the will to actually fix those problems — from the top to the bottom of the ballot.

—Alice Biel, Columbia Falls

Right thing to do

Referencing Friday’s article wherein the Flathead County Commissioners released a statement saying they “support the Constitutional rights of Montanans to make choices about personal protection for themselves and their families”.

It is disheartening to know that our county commissioners don’t know that the paper and cloth face masks we use are not primarily intended to protect the wearer. That’s a secondary benefit.

So, if someone thinks it’s his “Constitutional” right to choose not to wear a mask because he is willing to run the risk of catching the infection from someone else, what he’s really doing is choosing to put me and my family at risk of catching the virus from him.

If not being able to mandate safety precautions during a pandemic isn’t currently legal, it ought to be. It’s kind of like your right to smoke only extends to my nose. Your “right” to have a deadly virus goes no farther.

Wear your mask in public. It’s just the right thing to do.

—Doug Cook, Columbia Falls

Where’s the leadership?

I don’t know what prompted the county commissioners to respond to the Governor’s statement about the importance of the mask directive in the way they did. Instead of showing leadership and supporting local public health efforts by providing “clear and consistent support with messages regarding the need for and effectiveness of masks to help increase widespread adoption of evidence-based guidance” to minimize the surge in infections and deaths, they seem to think that it is more important to say that they aren’t responsible and it should be left up to personal choice.

How is that working out at the moment?

Choices have consequences and people should be responsible and accountable for them. We have laws limiting personal choice, especially when the behavior is harmful to others in society. How is not wearing a mask, infecting others, and either directly or indirectly causing the death of vulnerable individuals, any different from a drunk driver killing people on the road? Where is the responsibility in that choice?

Slightly less than 50% of infectious people don’t know it and are pre- or asymptomatic.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Safety “Interim Analysis of COVID-19 cases in Montana” report shows that people in the 20 to 40 age group are disproportionally infected at a higher rate than their percentage of the total population.

The CDC’s Oct. 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report addresses the cause: “Young adults represent an increasingly large proportion of U.S. COVID-19 cases. … perceived low severity of disease outcome; perceived responsibility to others; peer pressure; and exposure to misinformation, conflicting messages, or opposing views regarding masks were identified as drivers of behaviors that might influence risk for COVID-19 exposure among young adults.”

Lots of interesting reading.

—Bob Bridenbaugh, Columbia Falls

Stop the nonsense

The article about the health board meeting this week greatly disturbed me. While I might be at-risk, I value my liberties and I have stayed healthy throughout all of this COVID nonsense. I urge the board to not consider the continued ruin of 2020 and stop the passage of any more restrictions.

—Frances Young, Lakeside