Here we have Idaho, rife with novel coronavirus, cases climbing, deaths mounting—and public hearings packed with people who assert that the virus doesn’t exist or that being required to stay away from others and wearing masks are assaults on their personal liberty.

Compromise is not at hand, but Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin has come up with some super quackery that Idahoans of every mask persuasion might be able to agree about.

In a virtual press conference with religious leaders and business owners last week, she called on the state to spend millions of dollars that it received under the federal CARES Act to buy and operate potentially dangerous devices to fumigate Idahoans.

She would have the state buy four walk-through sanitization cubes for the state capitol from a Nevada company that manufactures them at a cost of $34,000. She also recommended that the state buy three mobile units for $25,500. Then she would have it use $8.64 million to hire more than 100 nurses to run the units.

McGeachin, who opposed a state mask mandate with an uncompromising video appearance in which she placed a gun on a Bible she was holding, effused about the technology during the press conference. She said, “A person can walk through a cube and be disinfected from head to toe, including on the bottom of their feet.”

Her enthusiasm was untempered by the findings of health experts that the disinfectants used can irritate skin and mucous membranes and produce allergic reactions while leaving the virus intact and alive in its human hosts.

The proposal will not appeal to citizens who believe that the novel coronavirus is just “fake news.” Those who hate face masks for being an assault on their rights will readily reject an invitation to walk into an enclosed space and get doused with disinfectants. Those who hew to science for their opinions will take the World Health Organization’s advice to avoid such spraying under any circumstances.

Voila! McGeachin has done what no one else could do. Idahoans now have common cause against wasting money on quackery. Now that we are agreed, we can get back to the hard stuff.


“Our View” represents the opinion of the newspaper editorial board, which is made up of members of its board of directors. Remarks may be directed to editorialboard@mtexpress.com.

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