Americans in Idaho are breaking the Coronavirus rules by gathering together to discuss their options if their rights are infringed on “much more.”

The meeting took place inside an old factory building just outside of Boise, Idaho.

Several dozen people gathered inside the factory to listen to a talk from the man who once led an armed takeover of an Oregon wildlife refuge.

Ammon Bundy is that man and his meeting violated Idaho Governor Brad Little’s orders on “group gatherings.”

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However, Bundy claims those orders are “unconstitutional” and infringe on his right to peacefully assemble.

Mr. Bundy aims to create a network of people who are ready to support anyone who is facing business closures or other interference from the government due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

“If it gets bad enough, and our rights are infringed upon enough, we can physically stand in defense in whatever way we need to,” Mr. Bundy told the meeting. “But we hope we don’t have to get there.”

In a state with pockets of deep wariness about both big government and mainstream medicine, the sweeping restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the virus have run into outright rebellion in some parts of Idaho, which is facing its own worrying spike in coronavirus cases.

The opposition is coming not only from people like Mr. Bundy, whose armed takeover of the Oregon refuge with dozens of other men and women in 2016 led to a 41-day standoff, but also from some state lawmakers and a county sheriff who are calling the governor’s statewide stay-at-home order an infringement on individual liberties.

Health care providers and others have been horrified at the public calls to countermand social-distancing requirements, warning that failing to take firm measures could overwhelm Idaho’s small hospitals and put large numbers of people at risk of dying.

“There are a lot of people that listen to those voices around here,” said Dr. Hans Hurt, an emergency doctor at Bonner General Health, a medical center in the town of Sandpoint, 45 miles north of Coeur d’Alene. “Even if it’s just a small group that wants to exercise their right to assemble, it puts the community at large at such a high risk.”

Many of the latest claims about the Constitution have come from Idaho’s northern panhandle, where vaccination rates for other diseases have always been low and where wariness of government is high. [DNYUZ]

While it’s understandable that people are concerned over their rights, this dissent has local medical workers really scared.

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They’re now pleading with local residents to listen to the instructions that have already proven helpful in other areas of the country.

“Don’t take legal advice from a doctor,” said Dr. Benjamin Good, an emergency medicine physician affiliated with Bonner General Health. “And don’t take medical advice from a sheriff.”

Health officials are on the front-lines and they’re trying to stay safe for their families and themselves and also help sick people coming in for care.

 

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