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Idaho’s Governor: A Science Denier

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This article originally posted on the Red State here.
June 17th, 2020 | by Daniel Bobinski

Idahoans are an independent lot, and they don’t take kindly to much government interference. What’s crazy is Idaho has a governor who went from two years of reducing government regulations to becoming an overbearing control freak. When did that happen? When he found out he could get $1.25 billion in federal aid if he declared a state of extreme emergency when Covid hit.

It’s pretty much a given that if Idaho’s Governor Brad Little hadn’t received all that federal money, (which is really our grandchildren’s tax dollars), contact tracing would hardly have blipped his radar. But hey, if you can buy loyalty from medical executives and reward old friends by using other people’s money, science denying can become a way of life.

So why is Governor Little a science denier? Despite the phenomenally low number of Covid-related deaths in Idaho, Little is hell-bent on instituting statewide contact tracing to “prevent the spread,” complete with 14-day quarantines.

The problem? There is no evidence that Covid came close to overwhelming Idaho’s health care systems. As such, no compelling state interest exists for contact tracing to be implemented in Idaho.

By way of review, here are some facts published by Idaho’s Department of Health & Welfare (DHW):

  • As of this writing, Idaho has had 86 Covid-related deaths
  • 81.3% of all Covid-related deaths occurred in people aged 70+
  • More than half of all Covid-related deaths (54.7%) occurred in people 80+
  • ZERO Covid-related deaths occurred in anyone under the age of 50
Someone with insider knowledge told me the youngest Covid-related death in Idaho was someone aged 58, but that has not been verified.

It should be noted that “Covid-related” is the phrase used by Idaho’s DHW on their webpage and their official documents. It should also be noted DHW refuses to delineate how many people died FROM Covid and how many died from other factors, but happened to have Covid — even asymptomatic Covid — when they died.

Were Covid-related deaths happening all over the state? No.

  • 33 of Idaho’s 44 counties have had ZERO Covid-related deaths
  • Only three counties had Covid-related death counts in double digits
  • The county with the highest number of Covid-related deaths was Twin Falls County (26 deaths)
  • In Twin Falls County, at least 23 of the 26 deaths there were associated with three long-term care facilities.
  • In Nez Perce County, 18 of the 19 Covid-related deaths occurred at ONE long-term health care facility
This means 47.7%, or nearly half, of all Covid-related deaths in Idaho occurred at four long-term health care facilities.

One would hope Idaho’s governor would be savvy enough to see that with 75% of Idaho’s counties having zero deaths related to Covid, and nearly half of all Covid-related deaths in the state occurring at four elder care centers, and with no health care systems in Idaho even coming close to being overwhelmed, there would be no need to enact contact tracing with draconian quarantine actions.

One would also hope the governor would be savvy enough to recognize the FDA’s approval of Hydroxychoroquine (HCQ) and Zinc as safe to use for treating Covid. And, that hundreds of doctors across the country are using the HCQ protocol to treat Covid successfully. In fact, the HCQ protocol is so successful, even severe patients become symptom free within 10 hours of starting the protocol, and chances of dying from a Covid infection drop 90% if HCQ is prescribed at the onset of symptoms.

Either Little is not savvy enough to see these things, or he willfully denies scientific facts.

Today, Little’s army of contact tracers are all geared up to quarantine for 14 days anyone who’s been exposed to someone who has Covid, even if that someone is asymptomatic. And those quarantines won’t apply only to a person who’s been exposed. The person’s entire family will be restricted to their home for 14 days. And if this happens to a single parent, the state will arrange for the children to be taken from the parent for those two weeks.

All in the name of safety, of course.

State-Sponsored Fearmongering in Play

The only reason we know some of the information reported above is because one of the major newspapers in the state threatened to sue the DHW. At first the newspaper requested the information, but the DHW refused to release it, claiming potential HIPAA violations. But when the newspaper threatened to sue, DHW suddenly found a reason to release it.

In those documents released by DHW we find some interesting definitions. Before I share those, let me ask, what comes to mind when someone tells you there’s an “outbreak” of a disease? I asked three different professionals that question, and I heard answers such as, “An outbreak means dozens and dozens of infected people,” and, “An outbreak means a rapidly growing number of infections that is likely to place a burden on the healthcare system.”

I’m guessing many have similar definitions for “outbreak.” But to Idaho’s DHW, an “‘Outbreak’ means at least one lab-confirmed or probable COVID-positive case associated with a facility.” [emphasis added]

That means even if only a single PROBABLE case exists, it gets reported as an “outbreak.”

And how does Idaho’s DHW define, “probable case?” I quote: “‘Probable Case’ means the person was exposed to someone who had symptoms of COVID-19, but there is no positive laboratory test confirming COVID-19 infection.”

This means the State of Idaho will announce a Covid outbreak if one person at a facility was exposed to someone who was confirmed to have Covid, even if the exposed person had not been tested and displays no Covid symptoms.

As of this writing, half of the two dozen facilities in the state with “active or probable” cases have only one case, and the state won’t say whether these are confirmed or probable.

In the politest of terms, Idaho’s DHW is fear mongering. My professional acquaintances had stronger thoughts, the most printable being that it was deceptive and unethical. But at its core, this is fearmongering to cover up the cronyism. The governor is keeping the population afraid and suppressing their liberties so he can funnel millions to curry political support.

And deny science along the way.

Yes. Idaho’s Governor Brad Little is a bona fide science denier.

As it turns out, the independent-minded people of Idaho have little use for a Little science-denying governor, and they’re circulating a recall petition. Perhaps instead of calculating how many tax dollars they can spend to deny Idahoans their liberties, Little’s cronies will calculate the speed at which the door will hit the man’s backside on his way out of office.