Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler

Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler wrote a letter today urging Governor Brad Little to assemble the full legislature for an emergency meeting in Boise to discuss points raised about the COVID-19 response in a letter by Naples, Florida, businessman Alfie Oakes, contending that "media fear" has blown the crisis out of proportion.

The letter was also posted to the Bonner County Sheriff's Facebook page.

"The media continues to sensationalize the magnitude and deadly nature of COVID-19," Oakes wrote in a letter to his senator. "Yet the truth is the mortality rate of COVID-19 is very low as compared to the normal flu season in the United States."

That letter, Wheeler says, brings into question the reliability of information disseminated by the World Health Organization and our response to that information.

"In the spirit of changing the course, I am urging you to call up the full Idaho Legislature and assemble them for an emergency meeting in Boise to discuss these points," Wheeler wrote. "I do not believe that suspending the Constitution was wise, because COVID-19 is nothing like the Plague. We were mislead by some Public Health Officials, and now it is time to reinstate our Constitution."

Wheeler pointed out an executive order signed recently by Texas Governor Greg Abbott allowing churches to hold services.

"In the spirit of liberty and the Constitution, you can request those that are sick to stay home," Wheeler wrote, "but at the same time, you must release the rest of us to go on with our normal business."

The letter comes just two days after President Donald Trump, based on the estimates of medical experts, warned the nation to prepare for trying times.

"This is going to be a very painful, very very painful two weeks,” the president said Tuesday. “I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going through a very tough few weeks,” he said.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the nation's coronavirus response, painted a grim picture, saying that in spite of all the measures already disrupting life as usual; the closures, the distancing, the masks and the hand washing, travel restrictions and all the rest, Covid-19 could kill between between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.



Mike Weland has been a journalist since serving as battalion Hometown News specialist in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 1979. He is publisher, editor and reporter at KootenaiValleyTimes.com, which he launched in March, 2018.

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