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Letter: Even invisible bureaucrats leave fingerprints

Dr. McDonough writes, "When two more long term care staff died during the delta wave, where was Human Services? When employees of public schools died of COVID, where was Department of Public Instruction? Where is the governor?"

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Where or where have they gone? In 2020, North Dakota state leaders had frequent self-praising news conferences extolling the virtues of a “light touch of government and individual responsibility,” an untested and unproven political approach to the worst pandemic in 100 years. This disaster in public policy led to the greatest COVID outbreak in the world and greatest death rate in the U.S. for most of two months. Our leaders had no idea that our state was among the worst in mask use and 500 residents paid the ultimate price in November 2020.

In 2021, these leaders largely disappeared from public view on COVID. Why? Could it be that North Dakota had one of the lowest COVID immunization rates with 388 vaccine preventable deaths and they had no idea what to do about it? Could it be that our health providers had been maxed out for many months and leaders had no idea what to do about it? Could it be that North Dakota had the lowest mask use of all states and leaders had no idea what to do about it?

Those who are resistant to COVID vaccines in North Dakota are second most likely of all states to believe that COVID is not a serious threat! After 2,000 dead citizens, really? The happy talk news conferences of 2020 left their mark!

When two more long term care staff died during the delta wave, where was Human Services? When employees of public schools died of COVID, where was Department of Public Instruction? Where is the governor?

As omicron rages throughout our state and COVID case rate records are shattered, where are the invisible bureaucrats?

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They can hide in fear all they want but their fingerprints are indelibly and forever imprinted on this calamity.

Dr. Stephen McDonough worked as a pediatrician in North Dakota from 1980 to 2020 and served on the North Dakota Department of Health 1985 to 2000.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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