May 30, 2020

As Maine Attorney General, Mills Didn’t Think Quarantining Was Necessary Based on Science

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Nearly six years ago a nurse returning from Sierra Leone where she treated Ebola patients, was asked by then Governor LePage to quarantine herself for 21 days so as not to put the public at risk of contracting Ebola.

Maine judge Charles LaVerdiere ruled that “the state has not met its burden to show why she’s a public health threat.”

He further ruled: “The State has not met its burden at this time to prove by clear and convincing evidence that limiting Respondent’s movements to the degree requested is necessary to protect other individuals from the dangers of infection.”

Ironically enough, the Maine Attorney General at that time was Janet Mills, Maine’s current governor. Odd that she, representing the Governor who ordered the quarantine, presented arguments on behalf of the state and upon losing her case agreed with the judge calling his ruling a “good one.”

However, the most important take away from this case is that the attorney general said the reason the judge’s decision was a good one was because it, “should prevail based on medical science.”

As Maine’s governor, Mills has acted the lone dictator in her declaration of an emergency to place harsh restrictions on people’s movements and businesses that are not allowed to operate or those with very strict limitations. In hopes that after the first enforcement of her own rules, she would begin to ease up on her fascist positions, she has done the opposite and in some cases doubled down on the guidelines limiting the rights and freedoms of Maine citizens, all the while by not presenting “medical science” to definitively support her demands.

In addition, Mills implemented a 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the state who intended to stay.

While it seems that we are looking at different standards between her actions and comments of 2014 and hypocrisy in action, the one element in all of this is the governor’s hypocrisy and apparent disregard for good medical science that she claimed was the necessary factor in determining the quarantining fate of the nurse returning from Sierra Leone. Mills, it appears, has refused to offer scientific evidence to support her decisions to require masks in public places, social distancing, the closing of many businesses and limits and restrictions on those she has allowed to stay open, as well as her lack of easing those restrictions as many other states that are not “hot spots” have already done.

As one example of what is confusing to people and causing them to question the governor’s orders that anyone in public should wear face masks, President Trump’s pick of Anthony Fauci to head up Operation COVID-19, said in an interview that it is not scientifically proven a necessity that people should be wearing face masks in public. As a matter of fact, he says doing so probably puts people at greater risk of contracting diseases.

In 2014, Mills seemed to be a strong advocate in support of the judge’s ruling not to force a nurse to quarantine when returning from where she treated Ebola cases, because the judge stated that the state failed to present scientific evidence to support any need for quarantine. But now, as governor of Maine, she is not presenting scientific evidence, when asked, to support her dictatorial approach in dealing with Operation COVID-19.

This has angered many and as a result action has been taken to request the Maine Legislature to reconvene, under rules of the Maine Constitution, for the purpose of ousting the governor due to her violations against her authority under the laws of her declaration of an emergency.

Here is a copy of the letter from members of the Maine Legislature to President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of the Maine Legislature asking both houses to reconvene and the purpose for that.

May 2, 2020

President Troy Jackson
3 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

Speaker Sara Gideon
2 State House Station
August, ME 04333

Dear President Jackson and Speaker Gideon,

We write to ask that you call the Legislature back in to session under Maine Constitution Article IV Part III Section 1 for the express and limited purpose of ending the Governor’s “Proclamation of State of Civil Emergency to Further Protect Public Health” through an emergency joint resolution pursuant to MRSA Title 37B chapter 13 subchapter 2 section 743 part 2. 

The successful management of any emergency declared by the Executive is dependent upon keeping the Legislature informed of the decision making process.  The delegation of authority to a single decision maker in a time of emergency is necessary to ensure swift action; however, if that decision making authority is used without consultation with the legislative body, it is our obligation to rescind that authority and establish a new process working with the Governor that involves all parties to better serve Maine.  

Unfortunately in recent weeks, concerns raised by the Legislature to the Governor have been met with disregard and even contempt.

We have repeatedly asked for accommodation from the Governor to allow her Commissioners to directly answer questions from members of the Maine Legislature and have been refused.

We have asked for additional data to be released from the CDC, data that is regularly provided in other states, and is essential in determining the state of the disease in Maine.  This data is necessary for setting public policy, and to date it has not been provided to us.

We have asked for a set of guiding principles that are being used to determine which businesses can open.  To date, we have not received any such information.  What we have been given is a phased-in plan that seemingly picks winners and losers.  It imposes an arbitrary set of rules for our businesses with no information on the scientific data used to create them.   

We have asked what is being done to increase and improve testing while we learn of private testing companies in Maine closing testing sites for a lack of business.  We have received no answers.

It is for these reasons and others not listed here, that it has become necessary for the Legislature to return and end the emergency proclamation.  If the Governor refuses to share the information necessary to keep us informed of how she is making decisions of her own accord, we are left with no choice but to convene and demand she answer our questions with the full force of Legislative authority.  

Sincerely,

Senator Dana Dow
Senate Republican Leader
 

Representative Kathleen Dillingham                                        
House Republican Leader

Senator Jeff Timberlake
Assitant Senate Republican Leader
                             

Representative Harold “Trey” Stewart
Assistant House Republican Leader

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