The three Flathead County commissioners don’t believe in masks or any other measures as recommended by local physician experts but rather side with a septic clerk, the wife of a state legislator and an anti-vaxxer physician. The sheriff is too busy handing out radar tickets to enforce legal public health measures. The county attorney will do anything to avoid a court case or a possible loss on his record – so much for the good fight. So we do nothing as case numbers increase, exposing the more vulnerable to disease with numbers of hospitalizations and deaths sure to follow as they already are.
I was skeptical of masks at the pandemic onset. I have subsequently read a number of studies showing a five- to 20 fold decrease (depending on the quality of the mask) in viral load when an infected person and close contacts wear masks.
Now we appear to be on the verge of at least two highly effective vaccines. With an illogical anti-vaxxer physician on the Board of Health and her band of merry followers who lack any knowledge of public health, will Annie Bukacek with her anti-vaxxer philosophy and denial of herd immunity push the board to deny the citizens of the Flathead access to a mass vaccination program? Will her supporters on this opinion page also deny the science of vaccination?
Although the commissioners eliminated my comments from the minutes of my last meeting as chairman of the Board of Health last December, I warned that replacing myself and another experienced physician, Dr. Wayne Miller, with an anti-vaxxer and a septic field inspector for political purposes was unconscionable and dangerous. Will Bukacek use her position on the board to push her anti-government, anti-vaxxer anti-herd-immunity agenda and deny our citizens a life-saving vaccine? Will Pam Holmquist and others on the board be complicit? I hope not. Unconscionable! Dangerous!
P. David Myerowitz, MD
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