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Letter to the editor: Montana's COVID rate is fault of Gianforte

Letter to the editor: Montana's COVID rate is fault of Gianforte

When Greg Gianforte first appeared on Montana’s political scene, he seemed to be little more than a troubled, technology billionaire from New Jersey with a fondness for body slamming reporters and poaching elk. Fast forward to now, however, and here he sits in Montana’s governor's office defending his approach to the COVID-19 problem as reported by Montana’s Lee newspapers by stating: “The government’s role is to educate, to communicate — it’s not to mandate.”

The problem with this new role as governor, however, is that Gianforte seems completely unaware that all he has done so far is to sign legislation creating mandates, many of which are the most regressive and cynical in Montana history. For example, his mandates regarding COVID-19 purposely hamstring local health professionals, schools, and Montana business owners from putting this pandemic behind us. As reported everywhere now, Gianforte’s mandates have resulted in Montana having the highest infection rate per 100k population in the nation.

Undoubtedly, Gianforte’s ego won’t let him resign, but hopefully he can show enough regard for Montanans to at least step aside for a moment, rescind his pro-pandemic mandates, and let knowledgeable professionals keep Montanans from getting sick and dying from COVID-19. Once this is accomplished he could re-emerge, claim success, and pursue his alleged commitment to educate and communicate. And I look forward to having no more mandates of any kind from this administration.

Monte Smith

Billings

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