NEARLY 45% OF SIGNERS ALSO SIGNED RECALL PETITION
Some 160 doctors, nurses, and medical professionals, mostly from around Anchorage, have penned a letter to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News, asking Gov. Mike Dunleavy to mandate that all Alaskans wear masks when in public places where a six-foot distancing between people is unrealistic.
“Recent medical studies and real-world evidence support the use of masks to prevent the spread of the virus,” the doctors wrote.
“We are concerned about the recent and rapid increase in COVID-19 case counts in Alaska. We want a healthy and robust economy in Alaska, and a healthy economy needs healthy consumers and workers. More consumers will feel safe patronizing businesses when they know the risk of infection is reduced. In the absence of mandated masking, many Alaskans will continue to shelter in place rather than risk infection. We also want to avoid another lockdown, which would further harm the economy,” they wrote.
Must Read Alaska sorted the list and alphabetized it, then checked it against the Recall Dunleavy petition to determine just how political this letter is. The results are in this excel spreadsheet.
|ALPHA BY LAST||ALSO SIGNED RECALL PETITION|
|I. de Anzola|
|Kendrick D. Blais||X|
|Tonya L Caylor|
|Bradley K. Cruz||X|
|Elizabeth Peek Ehlinger|
|Mary Ann Foland|
|Jane A. Heisel|
|Charles M Herndon|
|Brigette L. Hofmann|
|Rhonda M. Johnson||X|
|Leiza O. Johnson|
|John J Kottra|
|Gail B Kottra|
|Maria E. Mandich|
|Brian J McMahon|
|Marie E McQueen|
|Janine D. Miller|
|Kristin M Mitchell||X|
|Ronald D. Poole|
|Melinda M. Rathkopf|
|Ashley Lundgren Strum|
|Ian van Tets||X|
|Alexander von Hafften|
|Joshua Hejl Joy Warth|
|Grayson T Westfall|
|Thomas C. Wood|
The Cliff Notes version is that of the 160 doctors signing the letter, more than 70 of them — nearly 45 percent — also signed the first petition to recall the governor at some point in the past year. (There are but a handful on the list that could not be cross-referenced).
A vast majority of the signers of the letter to the editor are Democrat or calculate as Democratic voters in voter prediction databases, according to Must Read Alaska’s deep dive into the voter patterns.
Some of the doctors who signed the letter are not registered to vote in Alaska, as they are actually residents of another state.
IS THE NEWSPAPER BEING USED?
It raises the question for readers of the Anchorage Daily News: Does the editorial page editor know that this is not really a letter from doctors about mandatory mask policy, which could have been sent to the governor directly, but is a surrogate letter to support the recall by putting the governor’s policy up against the good doctors’ advice?
Or is the editorial page editor running letters like this with a wink and a nod, in full knowledge that this is a tactic organized by Democrats and recall actors?
Readers of the newspaper are not interested in the recall these days, but they are interested in matters that pertain to COVID-19. Having doctors weigh in on public policy in the public square may be intended to create a divide between the medical community and the governor, who has not mandated masks.
Democrats in the Legislature have also been pushing the governor to mandate masks for Alaskans, something that would make him exceedingly unpopular.
Last month, Reps. Tiffany Zulkosky, Matt Claman, Harriet Drummond, Zack Fields, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Andi Story, and Geran Tarr wrote a letter to Department of Health and Social Service Commissioner Adam Crum, asking for the mandate.