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Rep. Vinton, your guest column on Aug. 29 was so far off the mark that it just has to be rebutted. I re-read the Aug. 17 column by the Democratic legislators and found it factually accurate, well written and it hits the nail on the head. You call it an attack on Reps. Carlson and J. Hinkle. What I see is a well thought out response to terrible legislation that impairs our ability to fight COVID-19. The Democrats’ column is a fine example of democracy in progress. They succinctly pointed out the flaws in both bills. Since you don’t have any cogent arguments to counter what they wrote, you have decided to criticize the authors.

It is time for you and your colleges to remove the ideological blinders and look reality in the face. The current surge in COVID-19 is a result of irresponsible behavior, pure and simple. The variants are only making the situation worse. With the vaccines, we now have an excellent, effective tool to attack the virus. Combined with masks and personal distance, we can stop the surge in its tracks. To promote legislation that undermines local control and prevents public health officials from doing their job, and then using terms like “freedom and checks on government power” to justify it, is just wrong and yes, it is dangerous.

Rep. Vinton, it is time to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. States like Florida and Texas are stark reminders of what happens when leaders like you ignore facts, data, science and medical professionals. Dump the garbage legislation and urge our governor to take real action to stop COVID-19.

Craig Allen

Bozeman

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