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Montana Health Officer resigns amid COVID controversy

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 9/21/21

The health officer in the politically conservative Sanders County, Montana, resigned from his position last week after community opposition to his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick Lawyer is was the Sanders County health officer and is a physician’s assistant at the hospital in Plains who’s been encouraging the community to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He submitted a letter of resignation at the request of the Sanders County commissioners, two days after a member of the public blamed the health officer for the death of his wife. Gerald “Frenchy” Cuvillier claims Beverly Cuvillier, who died at the age of 82 on Sept. 7 due to COVID-19, would still be alive if it hadn’t been for Lawyer’s “rules of protocol.” According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, Sanders County has the highest 14-day transmission increase of any county in the country, with an over 999 percent increase in cases over that time period. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services vaccine dashboard, 36 percent of Sanders County residents are fully vaccinated.

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