Representative John Fuller (House District 8) has penned a piece that consists of a series of hot takes about the Governor’s decision to order Montanans to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and prevent our medical system from becoming overwhelmed.
Fuller writes, echoing the racist language of the President, that this is just like the flu:
Acting upon incomplete and probably inaccurate information, our government has embarked upon a spending spree and encroachment on the liberties of Americans of massive proportions. Logic would dictate that from now on, every flu season, our economy must shut down and the government print, thereby inflating, more money and spend it on non-productive transfers. The sphere of liberty shrinks as the size of government grows. The current response to “Chinese flu” has led to policies unheard of in American history with yet unknown consequences.
All due respect to Representative Fuller, but the experts at the World Health Organization don’t agree. Neither do the ones at the Centers for Disease Control. Neither, finally, it seems, does President Trump.
But John Fuller from the Flathead somehow knows more about this crisis than the leading medical minds in the world.
He continues by misrepresenting the order and arguing that it’s really no big deal that one percent of the population could die:
Being told that 1 million Montanans are under “house arrest” and that every “non-essential” business must close its door is an irrational response to save the lives of a few. The logic displayed during this current “pandemic” would necessitate that nothing ever be allowed that would put more than 1 percent of a given population at risk. So, driving cars must be banned, no American lives can be risked defending freedom, and high cholesterol foods taken off the shelves.
No one in Montana is under house arrest because of the governor’s order, which balanced the perspectives of health care experts with the needs of the economy. And I’d argue that the death of 3.3 million Americans, which would be roughly one percent of the population is a crisis worth demanding that we stay home as much as we can, to keep ourselves and our vulnerable populations safe.
One has to wonder whether Representative Fuller agrees with those who argue the elderly should die for the sake of the economy or whether he just doesn’t know what 1% of 330 million is.
Fuller returns to the idea that it is mere hysteria that has killed over 10,000 people in Italy, a number the US will almost certainly soon pass:
We did not vote on the “shelter-inplace” dictum. We did not vote on the shut down of all “non-essential” businesses. Hysteria leads to a dismissal of the factual. And the factual analysis of this current “Wuhan flu” is that many of the policies enacted here in Montana are irrational and insulting. Does anyone believe that the “vulnerable” (such as this mid-70s old man) are incapable of taking appropriate precautions on their own without the governor destroying the livelihoods of all our fellow Montanans?
It seems that perhaps someone who is arguing against hysteria should avoid the histrionic claim that the governor is “destroying the livelihoods of all our fellow Montanans,” but the evidence across the globe and the United States has been pretty clear: it takes government action to prevent people from engaging in dangerous social gatherings. Witness the mega-churches still meeting this
Fuller’s essay, posted on Facebook by anti-vaxxer Annie Bukacek, has received likes from no fewer than a half dozen legislators, including such medical luminaries as anti-public schools Representative Greg DeVries and militia fan Tim Ravndal.
It’s more evidence about just how unmoored from reality the right-wing has become in this country. They oppose science, they oppose expertise, and they oppose rational policy because somehow they have convinced themselves that they know more than medical doctors and public health experts who have devoted their lives to the study of diseases.
Their hyperbolic, unevidenced claims don’t just rest in their Facebook feeds. They spread just as insidiously as the novel coronavirus, damaging the rational capacity of those who believe and share them just as surely as the virus damages the lungs of those it affects.
When will reasonable Republicans stand against these people? When will they challenge the lies that will cost lives?
I think we all know the answer.