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COVID speedometer stuck on green

Gene Nygaard, Crosby

In light of Governor Doug Burgum’s admissions in connection with the resignation of Dr. Andrew Stahl concerning the speedometer that has been pegged on Green every day since April, every county, every city, every school board, I demand that you remove any mention of it on your Health Department pages.

The position of the pointer on that dial isn’t decided by the Health Department based on scientific evidence, and it is unethical for you to imply otherwise. It is unethical for you medical professionals to provide a cloak of integrity to an entirely political decision entirely in the hands of Doug Burgum (even, or rather especially, if he does use the “royal we” in talking about it).

Don’t falsely and knowingly claim that this is a tool that can be adjusted locally based on local conditions, when you know full well that this has never been done and it was never intended to be done, and that it never was a tool at all.

It is a misleading prop that runs counter to and reduces the effectiveness of pretty much everything you do to try to get the coronavirus under control.

I also see a huge rise in anger at the governor for causing the resignations of two State Health Officers, and disgust with the Health Department’s response to coronavirus, or lack thereof, and with the unsupportable notion that one size fits all, all across the state all the time. That is especially evident in a recent Facebook thread not on your page.

If Doug Burgum still wants this crutch, let him put it on the Office of the Governor pages, after removing any implication that it is based on scientific criteria. Avoid even an appearance of impropriety by the Health Department. You know full well that that speedometer is unlikely to move to the left to a higher risk category anywhere in the state, as long as:

1. The state has an adequate supply of hydrochloroquine (Donald Trump’s cure-all, no longer approved by the FDA for coronavirus, though it was in a limited way when ND was declared “Green” and DB could have formulated this rule in his mind)

2. ICU usage statewide is less than 90% of capacity.

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