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Letters to the editor Nov. 18

| November 18, 2021 12:00 AM

Withdraw from OSHA

The Covid-19 emergency temporary standard issued by OSHA is anything but emergency, temporary, or standard.

The case for Covid as an emergency was questionable at the peak and non-existent at current. While the numbers of deaths may seem scary, upon second glance they lose all their might. Montana’s DPHHS recently released a report analyzing “COVID-19 associated deaths.” They conveniently did not define whether that was someone dying from or with Covid. Even if we uncritically digest the analysis, of the 2,100 deaths reported as of October, more than 69% had at least one underlying condition. This is not an emergency, this is the reality of poor health.

Secondly, “temporary” should never be a word associated with the federal government. Consider the case of Irene Triplett. Born in 1930, Ms. Triplett was the daughter of Mose and Elida Triplett. Mose fought in the Civil War and thus Irene received a monthly payment of $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs until her death in 2020. That temporary legislation to support veterans paid out in various forms from 1862 – 2020; 158 years. We can be certain that OSHA will adhere to these same strict standards of unelected ad infinitum pseudo-legislsation.

Lastly, there is nothing standard about the ETS. OSHA’s own language states, “OSHA shall issue an ETS if the agency determines that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and an ETS is necessary to protect employees from such danger.”

Covid is neither a grave danger nor a new hazard. If it were, OSHA wouldn’t have waited until after an election and the Christmas season to save us all.

It is time for Montana to be for Montanans. Withdraw from OSHA and let’s get back to work.

—David Ritchey, Bigfork

Separate your voting decisions and health decisions

Last month’s numbers for Covid deaths show an alarming trend along political party lines. Nationwide, in counties that voted for Trump in 2020, there were three times the number of Covid deaths (25 per 100,000) as there were in counties that voted for Biden (7.8 per 100,000). The death tally gap between party lines has grown faster in October of this year than in any month up to this point, and October was the fifth consecutive month with a widening gap.

There’s also a gap along party lines in vaccination rate. These death rate disparities by political party weren’t present before Covid vaccines were available. This distinction is important because it’s proof of how effective Covid vaccines are.

As of Nov. 7th, one in every 441 Montanans has died from Covid. These numbers would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Why are we accepting it now?

Vote how you wish, but please separate voting decisions from decisions about your health and the health of your community. Protect yourself. Protect your community. Those are American values. You can do that from any political party.

—Stephanie Brancati, Big Arm

Obvious power grab

Jim Elliot’s opinion column “George Washington - patriot or traitor” Nov. 13” has to be a joke. At best, typical bait and switch.

Number one, the smallpox vaccine was not applied to any 5-year-olds, nor to any civilians.

Number two, there was no U.S. Constitution.

Third, as Elliot points out, states and commonwealths have an authority for vaccine mandates that Washington doesn’t have, and Biden is trying to force something unconstitutionally.

The minister had it right. I agree. I’m not responsible for protecting anyone but myself, especially when we’re told this Covid vaccine doesn’t stop the spread. If someone else is afraid of catching it from me, they are free to take the jab. This is an obvious power grab by Washington, unconstitutional, and people are seeing through it.

Jim Elliot is part of the cabal out to confuse us, or else he himself is totally confused.

—Eric Knutson, Dayton