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Governor: Let’s Talk About COVID-19

At this stage of the political campaign, the minds have been made up and the voters speaking so we should be able to discuss the COVID19 without all of its usual political rhetoric. We have nothing to lose if we can be open and civil about the subject.

The time is past when we should have had a low-key conversation about the pandemic that is plaguing North Dakota more severely than many other states. Partisan politics has interfered in good governing.

The pandemic is a critical problem because it is not going away for years, considering the limited cooperation the medical profession is getting from North Dakota citizens. Our frontier experience has made us an independent people but our independence is killing us.

A climate for virus

As long as unmasked people keep providing a climate in which the virus can prosper, the virus will not die and North Dakota will have to live with it for years.

COVID19 is anti-life and North Dakota can’t be anti-life. Life is the most precious thing granted to us on this earth. While some may believe that life mysteriously oozed ashore in the Azores, life originated with God and is sacred.

Ultimately, life is His property that we get to borrow for a while.

Life is valued more in North Dakota than in other states because we are a small state. More of us get to know each other, thereby building a sense of community in which lives are guarded by friends and neighbors. It is difficult to go anywhere in North Dakota and not talk to a stranger who knows your cousin in Bowbells and your uncle in Hankinson.

Great loss of life

Because life is borrowed property, we are obligated to protect it at every turn. If COVID19 is destroying lives, we must do the best we can to limit its effectiveness. When the loss of lives becomes great we must consider options and reorganize our priorities. As you know, the loss has become great. We need to take another look.

Life is all some people have.

I don’t have a litany offering the tragic convincing details of COVID19. I am sure that you are well briefed; you know the statistics. They are pretty bad and we can’t be sure they will ever get any better. Short term decisions seldom solve long term problems.

No matter what you do, you will get flak from somebody, mostly from those who have never been in tough decision-making positions. However, if we don’t deal with this problem the consequences will be great. North Dakota is becoming “legendary” in ways we didn’t plan.

Use Legacy Fund

We have a $6 billion Legacy Fund that should be used to soften the impact of COVID19. The epidemic has caused much damage to jobs, small businesses, hospitals and schools that could be ameliorated with the Legacy Fund.

Every governor has the hope that he/she could leave a legacy that would honor their memories. While governors come into office with numerous goals, most of their hopes are dashed against a governmental system that defies progress or change.

Because governors are eaten by the details of the job, few leave a recognizable legacy. Most are lucky if they escape blame for the sins of others.

So what do you hope your legacy will be? A remodeled government? A new economy? An invigorated recreation industry?

It sounds harsh to say but unless we get control of COVID19 your legacy will be in the cemeteries scattered all across North Dakota. I don’t want that. Nobody wants that.

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