Gianforte Says He’ll Focus on COVID-19 as Governor

The governor-elect has named a COVID-19 task force, comprised of healthcare workers, business representatives, local government officials and others

By Associated Press

HELENA – Montana’s Gov.-Elect Greg Gianforte hosted his first press conference since the election on Friday, saying his focus when he takes office next month will be on keeping the most vulnerable safe while opening the state’s economy.

Gianforte did not make any specific policy announcements but said that addressing the COVID-19 pandemic will be his administration’s top priority once he takes office Jan. 4.

The governor-elect has named a COVID-19 task force, comprised of healthcare workers, business representatives, local government officials and others. The task force is expected to make recommendations to Gianforte in the coming weeks.

Gianforte, a Republican, said he chooses to wear a mask and encourages other Montana residents to do so, NBC Montana reported.

Gianforte did not outright say whether he would keep in place a mask mandate that currently applies to all 56 of the state’s counties. The mandate was put in place by current Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.

When asked if he considers Joe Biden to be the next U.S. President, Gianforte said there’s still litigation pending and that needs to come to a conclusion, NBC Montana reported.

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