MT-Gov: HuffPost, “Greg Gianforte (R), Montana’s Pseudoscience Gubernatorial Candidate”

There’s a lot going on but I wanted to make sure the biggest toss-up Governor race of this cycle still gets some attention. The Huffington Post has a great piece out profiling gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R. MT) and his long record of being very anti-Science which is very scary considering we are in the middle of a deadly pandemic. Here’s a just a taste of what the piece talks about:

Gianforte rejects evolution and dismisses the scientific consensus that humans are the primary drivers of global climate change. More recently, the supporter of President Donald Trump promoted the idea that so-called “herd immunity” — when enough of a population becomes immune to a disease that it can no longer spread effectively — is the solution to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Gianforte said in a July 1 webcast that he received “encouraging” news from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, that “by the end of this year, at current infection rates, if we do nothing, we will have built sufficient herd immunity that will stop the expansion of the COVID.” Gianforte made similar comments in a separate remote town hall that same day. Gottlieb has since said the U.S is “probably a long way from herd immunity.”

Achieving herd immunity without a vaccine requires mass COVID-19 infection, which would likely result in at least 1 million deaths in the U.S and other unknown consequences. One Montana health expert warned such an approach would lead to at least 10,000 deaths in just his state.

Of course Gianforte’s opponent, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney (D. MT), has rightfully slammed Gianforte for pushing this dangerous theory:

Since Mr. Gianforte chooses to just follow the herd in Washington, he should clarify how many more senseless American deaths are acceptable to achieve that outcome,” Cooney said. “Many experts project it’s at least 2 million — or roughly double the total population of Montana. That is unacceptable, and shows that Greg Gianforte still refuses to take this public health crisis seriously and chooses instead to put his own political future over Montanans’ lives.

Just a reminder, not only is Gianforte known for assaulting a journalist, he’s also the same guy who believes that The Flintsones really happened:

Gianforte first considered living in Montana during a hiking trip to the state in junior high school. Since moving there in the mid-1990s, he and his wife, Susan, have become part of the fabric of life in Bozeman, with their interest in technology start-ups, evangelical Christian faith and conservative political beliefs defining their ties to the community, according to news reports.

Their philanthropy and activism have not come without controversy. Gianforte was a significant funder of the creationist Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in Glendive, Mont., which presents exhibits on the Earth’s age and the origins of the dinosaurs “in the context of biblical history.”

Speaking at the Montana Bible College in 2015, Gianforte raised eyebrows for his comment that “the concept of retirement is not biblical.”

This is a tight race and Montana is an electoral hot spot this year because Governor Steve Bullock (D. MT) is also running for the U.S. Senate along with Kathleen Williams (D. MT) running for Gianforte’s seat and other down ballot races in Big Sky country. Bullock and Cooney have done an excellent job governing the state during this pandemic and we have to make sure Montana doesn’t elect someone who could undo all of the progress that’s been made. Luckily, Cooney has been outraising Gianforte in campaign funds but Gianforte is wealthy and has loaned his campaign a lot of money. But let’s keep up the momentum and flip Montana Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Cooney, Bullock, Williams, Biden and their fellow Montana Democrats campaigns:

Joe Biden

Steve Bullock for Senate

Mike Cooney for Governor

Kathleen Williams for Congress

Raph Graybill for Attorney General

Bryce Bennett for Secretary of State