Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler’s Open Letter to Governor Brad Little has been wildly misrepresented.
When he penned a short, simple letter to Idaho Governor Brad Little questioning the wisdom and constitutionality of emergency stay-at-home directives concerning the coronavirus epidemic, Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler was not expecting the media firestorm and the avalanche of over-the-top condemnation that have rained down on him.
The New York Times suggested the sheriff was leading a “rebellion” that “threatens to undermine coronavirus orders,” and quoted area doctors that condemned the sheriff’s call for moderation in response to the virus. One physician, a prominent surgeon, went so far as to call Sheriff Wheeler’s letter appeal “criminal” and stated that Sheriff Wheeler (and Idaho State Representative Heather Scott, who supported the sheriff’s appeal) might be denied medical care as a result. Dr. Robert J. Burnett wrote, in an April 5 letter to the editor in the Bonner County Bee, in the event that either Sheriff Wheeler or Rep. Scott happen to contract COVID-19 and need hospital care and/or a ventilator, “that I, and all of my co-workers take comfort in knowing that, because of your behavior, you have essentially relinquished your claim to any of these potentially scarce resources.”
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