Idaho Lieutenant Governor Janice McGatchin took the reins in the state on Tuesday by banning COVID-19 vaccination “passports” and mandatory COVID-19 testing while Governor Brad Little was on a trip. He also asked for information on deploying the National Guard on the Texas border.
Gov. Little, in fact, in Texas on Tuesday, was meeting with nine other Republican governors regarding the Biden administration’s handling of border issues.
“I am performing my duties as the duly elected governor of Idaho in Texas, and I have not authorized the Lieutenant Governor to act on my behalf,” Little said. In a statement late Tuesday. “When I return, I will revoke and reverse any action taken by the Lieutenant Governor.”
This isn’t the first time Lieutenant Governor McGetchin (also a Republican) has tried to seize power while the governor has stepped away from the state. In May, she issued an executive order banning the mask mandate while Little attended a convention in Nashville. On his return the next day the order was slightly rescinded, saying that local authorities should have the power to make mask policy decisions.
That didn’t stop McGatchin from trying to assert his authority again this Tuesday. “Today, as Acting Governor, I set Gov. Little’s Executive Order on ‘Vaccine Passports’ to ensure that K-12 schools and universities do not require vaccinations or require mandatory testing, ” He said. announced in a tweet. “I will continue to fight for your personal freedom!”
Idaho is currently seeing one of the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Although delta-fuel growth is beginning to ease in some southern states, Idaho’s case rate is still climbing. Hospitalizations and deaths are at record highs. state health department Active Crisis Standards of Care Statewide on Sept. 16 Because hospitals were overburdened with COVID-19 cases.
Souza, chief physician of Idaho’s St. Luke’s Health System, provided a grim report late last month about the state of hospitals and patient care. “To those who say ‘we all die sometime’: ‘Yes we do,'” Souza said. “But these people didn’t need to die anymore, and they didn’t need to die like that.”
Cases, hospitalizations and deaths have increased since then. Meanwhile, only 42 per cent of the state has been fully vaccinated.
Gov Little is expected to return this evening and will lift McGatchin’s ban shortly thereafter.
As for the deployment of the National Guard, Major General Michael Garshak, responding to McGatchin’s information request, wrote, According to the Associated Press: “I am unaware of any requests for Idaho National Guard assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) from Texas or Arizona … As you know, the Idaho National Guard is not a law enforcement agency.”
Little specifically took offense to an investigation into the deployment by McGatchin, who was running for his position.
The governor said in his statement, “Attempting to deploy our National Guard for political grandeur is an insult to the Idaho Constitution and an insult to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to serving our state and country.” “