In a public health crisis, we expect our leaders are making decisions based on expert recommendations and scientific evidence. The Montana Nurses Association (MNA), as the organization for professional registered nurses in Montana, supports and will promote the shelter in place directive issued by Gov. Steve Bullock on March 26. His administration’s latest move to slow the spread of COVID-19 will assist in slowing down the spread of this communicable disease. All of us working on the front lines in health care are seeing the swift progression of this virus and the destruction that it is reaping on our communities and our national health care system. The best tool we have right now to address this crisis is prevention.
While MNA will continue to monitor the measures being taken and offer expertise, we are confident in decision-making happening at the state level with Bullock and his administration.
A public health crisis – or a crisis of any kind – has a way of bringing people together. In Montana, we are blessed in that we support one another whether we are in crisis or not. We know we are all in this together.
It is during stressful times like these that we have an opportunity to reveal our integrity and true strength through our response. We also get a glimpse of how others react under pressure, including our public figures and elected officials. In times of crisis, we look to our elected leaders for deliberate action, and the reassurance that they are making informed, difficult decisions in the best interest of public health. All of us know that the decisions made as we navigate this COVID-19 crisis have profound impact both now and on the future of our citizens, communities, economy, and the overall health of our state.
MNA applauds Bullock and his administration for taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously and for taking preventive measures to try and get ahead of the problem before it inevitably arrived.
Thanks to true leadership at the state level, an executive task force was convened in advance of the first positive cases. The plan smartly included our public health experts and proactively implemented a structured quick response on which to execute. This included critical actions to slow the spread of the virus such as school and business closures.
Additionally, a state of emergency was declared days before the first positive tests. This positioned Bullock and our executive branch to have prompt access to the tools necessary to respond swiftly to protect public health. Bullock has provided the perfect balance of being publicly honest and transparent about the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat while taking care not to raise additional alarm. His administration has been diligent in looking over data and new information coming in hourly to make the best decisions for our state and citizens.
It’s been about 100 years since the world has seen a pandemic this virulent. Since we often do not know when our resiliency is going to be put to the test as a state and as a nation, we’re grateful for the leadership of Bullock and his administration for being the smart leaders of integrity and compassion that we need. Please stay the course and keep taking necessary actions to stop the progress of COVID-19 in Montana and to provide necessary support to our communities and health care workers, as we’ll keep doing our part to care for our patients too.
CEO of the Montana Nurses Association
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