ACHTUNG: The following is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
I greeted the news with welcome arms last Friday that Allegan County legal counsel told the Allegan C0unty Board of Commissioners to stay out of medical issues, about which they know virtually nothing.
Attorneys from Miller Johnson restored my faith in common sense in reeling in runaway politicians who cave into their vocal constituents and try to overturn public health decisions made by experts in the field.
Last month the Board of Commissioners wrongheadedly voted 6-1 to request the Health Department and its director to rescind its Aug. 18 order to mask up all children in grades K-6. The Health Department in response doubled down on its order and outlined possible legal consequences for those who refuse to comply in an effort to demonstrate how serious this matter is.
Some parents and lame duck State Rep. Steve Johnson cried foul and our man in Lansing even called for firing the director, whom he maintained was making threats.
How far will we let politicians go in endangering the health of our children by ignoring and even defying directives from people who make public health their business?
Johnson, whom I suspect has serious problems with smart women, while calling for the head of Health Dept., Director Angelique Joynes, made the very public comment that citizens should not have to live by the rules set by “unelected bureaucrats.” This implies that instead we should follow alternative directives set by elected politicians, few of whom have any expertise in public health.
The exception would be State Rep. Mary Whiteford, who should know better than to take part in a scripted media event supporting a Holland restaurateur who openly defied health orders for masking up inside her eatery. Not only is that promoting dangerous public health policy, it’s encouraging the citizenry to ignore directives issued by health officials in the interest of saving lives.
I’m sure some readers will say President Joe Biden is setting public health policy with his recent actions, but he is doing so at the direction of and with the blessing of America’s top health scientists.
I also was deeply disappointed in our local county commissioners, Gale Dugan, Rick Cain and Mark DeYoung, who foolishly let politics trump quality public health policy.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the United States has done a terrible job of handling a tiny enemy we can’t see with the naked eye, but has killed more than 650,000 of us. And now that too many still refuse to take a free vaccine and insist our children not wear masks in confined closed places, we can see our collective willful failure.
We’ve allowed slick politicians to convert a serious health crisis into a political issue. The consequences have been nothing short of catastrophic.
“Give me liberty or give me death? We have chosen the latter.