Letter: Routt County deserves honest policy
The basis of any public policy must be transparency and honesty. Unfortunately, our commissioners have struggled with both transparency and honesty as they have acted on our behalf over the last year.
I have criticized the commissioners for refusing to make testing accuracy data available, even if that meant asking the state for metrics from Routt County tests. When our policies were based primarily on case counts, the people of Routt County deserved to know the truth about testing accuracy. Yet our commissioners made no effort and have refused repeated requests to provide the community with transparency and the truth about our testing accuracy.
Our commissioners claim to have aligned our local mask policy with the advice of the CDC, but this claim isn’t true. For example, the CDC advises against face-shields as a mask substitute, but they are allowed in Routt County. The CDC guidance also recognizes not everyone can wear a mask due to medical conditions. Our commissioners, however, have ignored some guidance and only selectively follow the CDC when the guidance aligns with their bias. Selectively following some CDC mask guidance while ignoring other areas of CDC mask guidance demonstrates it isn’t an honest claim that Routt County is aligned with the CDC.
After shifting our policy basis from a case-based model to a vaccine-based model, the commission doesn’t include rates of natural infection when discussing the goal of herd immunity related to vaccine goals and public policy. Pretending only vaccinated people contribute to herd immunity isn’t a science-based, honest approach.
Finally, we now find ourselves under the most absurd and openly dishonest conditions of all. Today in Routt County, the bartender must wear a mask but not the 20 people sitting at the bar. Servers in town must wear a mask at all times, while they personally interact with hundreds of customers not wearing masks. Large national retailers in Routt County may ignore our mask requirements without consequence, yet local small businesses struggling to survive are threatened with closure for the exact same behavior.
The current model of expecting the people of Routt County to continue pretending under the force of a fundamentally dishonest and inequitable public health “order” isn’t sustainable.
The people of Routt County deserve honesty from our commissioners, policies that reflect the truth and the equal protection of our laws for everyone.
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