The central committee for Wyoming’s Republican Party has adopted a resolution calling for Gov. Mark Gordon to rescind the state of emergency he declared early in the coronavirus pandemic.
The central committee, during a meeting Saturday, adopted the resolution as a way to send a message that restrictive health orders mandating actions such as the use of face masks or the closure of businesses are not the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“It appears some of our health experts have jumped on some political bandwagon a little too early before enough was known about COVID-19,” said Frank Eathorne, chairman of Wyoming’s Republican Party. “Now some of those facts are coming out and some of those takings of freedom were unjustified. I think that’s what the central committee is saying.”
The central committee’s action came after several counties, including Weston and Uinta, adopted similar resolutions, Eathorne said.
“It’s not necessarily the same resolution, but it’s the same result,” he said. “We don’t see the shutdowns or a state of emergency as fixing anything.”
The central committee’s resolution noted that complications and deaths related to the flu and other illnesses have been seen in past years, but have not led to the declaration of a state of emergency such as Gordon’s, which was put in place in March.
The restrictions imposed under the state of emergency have been more damaging than helpful, the resolution said.
“The ongoing State of Emergency … that has been imposed by the state’s restrictions on the right of individuals and business owners to make a living in support (of) themselves and their families continues to greatly damage the citizens and economy of the Great State of Wyoming,” the resolution said.
“This is just a disease with a new name and a whole lot of media attention, but it’s not really changing the situation in Wyoming,” Eathorne said. “We seem to be going to a lot of lengths to flatten the curve and it is not working.”
Eathorne also pointed to conflicting information about the effectiveness of the use of face masks coming from organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and referred to an analogy he had heard comparing the value of mask use to block the virus to the use of a chain link fence to block mosquitoes.
“COVID particles are far too small to be stopped by most of the face masks we are using,” he said.
The resolution said the state should allow its residents to decide on their own the best course of defense against the virus.
“Although we urge continued personal vigilance, it has always been up to the citizens of Wyoming to make their own health care decisions, even when they are in at-risk groups,” it said.