Sanders County Board of Health official resigns

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The head of the Sanders County Board of Health has resigned.

Nick Lawyer, medical assistant at Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains, made the announcement last Friday on social media.

In his letter to County Commissioners and the Montana Department of Health Human Services, the attorney said, “While I am disappointed with your request to resign, I sympathize with your desire to rule Sanders County without them. conflicts and conflicts originating from a minority of people. oppose my recommendations and actions.

The lawyer continued, “Since January 2021, I have done everything possible to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of this position, including working to identify, assess, prevent and improve conditions of importance to public health. It is absolutely my responsibility and my duty to speak up and work to educate our community on how to prevent and contain the spread of Covid-19 (and other diseases) – and I will continue to do so independently. of this letter. “

The reasons for the Lawyer’s decision to resign following a request by the Commissioners appear to be linked to more than one factor.

In a Tweet on Saturday, September 18, the lawyer wrote that their request to resign was in part a response to a column he wrote in the Flathead Beacon, touting the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. He wrote that “the Commissioners felt that I should have obtained their approval before sending this letter and others. “

CBS News reporter David Begnaud also shared an interview on Twitter he had with Lawyer.

In it, the lawyer said he was forced to resign after a local man blamed him for his wife’s death. The man accused Lawyer of preventing his wife from receiving ivermectin, hydrochloroquine and antibodies before his death from Covid.

According to a September 12 article in the Daily Inter Lake, at least a few people in Flathead Valley have fallen ill after taking a widely available pest control drug intended for animals in hopes of treating or preventing Covid-19, according to the reports. local hospital officials. .

Ivermectin has been used since the 1970s to kill parasites in humans, including head lice, scabies, and a worm that causes a disease known as river blindness. The drug is inexpensive and comes in a variety of forms, including tablets, injectables, and topical ointments, and the World Health Organization has considered it an essential drug for treating several types of infections in people. man. It is also commonly used to purge heartworms from cattle such as horses, sheep and cattle.

A recent wave of disinformation fueled by some media figures and politicians, as well as a small contingent of doctors, has prompted thousands of Americans to try self-medication with ivermectin to fight Covid, despite warnings from experts in public health and the manufacturers of ivermectin that the drug does not work against the coronavirus.

Many lobbied their doctors and pharmacists for ivermectin prescriptions, ordered ivermectin products of questionable origin through the internet, and even searched for foul-tasting veterinary-grade ivermectin pastes in their supply stores. local ranches. Some have overdosed after taking large animal amounts of the medicine, or trying to determine the appropriate doses based on veterinary guidelines.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a five-fold increase in ivermectin-related calls to poison control centers across the United States, as well as a 24-fold increase in weekly prescriptions for ivermectin, compared to to pre-pandemic reference values. And the Food and Drug Administration recently cautioned on Twitter against the use of ivermectin-based veterinary products: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, all of you. Stop it. . “

In Flathead, at least a few people have presented to hospital with symptoms of ivermectin toxicity, which can include severe nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as neurological problems such as headache, confusion, seizures and visual hallucinations.

According to state figures, 36% of residents of Sanders County have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. Only 11 other counties in Montana have lower rates.

As of September 17, Sanders County had 39 new cases and 115 active. The county has reported a total of 987 cases of Covid-19 with 856 recovered and 16 deaths.

In Montana, 1,877 people have died from Covid-19, state officials say.


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