A group of roughly 100 health professionals has sent an open letter to Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte chiding him over various actions regarding COVID-19 precautions.
In response, Gianforte’s campaign said the letter was an attempt to politicize public health.
The letter was sent Friday to Lee Montana Newspapers and included 111 names of nurses, doctors, caregivers and public health professionals.
It criticized Gianforte, the state’s current U.S. House representative, for three instances.
First, he appeared at a Lewis and Clark County event Oct. 3 that the health department said violated COVID-19 restrictions. Citations were expected.
Second, he arrived at an Oct. 6 gubernatorial event without a face mask. The letter cited a Twitter video from Caroline Harding, who posted beneath the video a request for donations to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney. Cooney is the current lieutenant governor.
Third, at a recent campaign event in Helena he quipped that, when asked at a separate event if he was shaking hands, he said he’d hug the man if he wanted.
“Mr. Gianforte — this isn’t a joke — it is nothing less than a matter of life or death,” the letter stated.