Good day, ND United!

These are truly interesting times in which we live.  A recent article in the Bismarck Tribune detailed the experiences of public health directors who reported that they are routinely being harassed for simply doing their jobs.

It is not hard to imagine that harassment in person and on social media takes a toll on healthcare professionals who are just trying to keep everyone safe during a pandemic.  As tired as we all are of the Coronavirus pandemic – and we are tired of it – we all must keep in mind that these outstanding public servants are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Speaking of the Coronavirus, North Dakota continues to experience unacceptably high daily infection rates.  But we have the power to drive the infection rate to below one percent: washing hands, social distancing, and wearing masks.

As I have pointed out in previous communications, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, Dr. Robert Redfield, has said that if ninety percent of Americans would wear masks in public spaces for two to three months, we could drive the infection rate to below one percent and we could return to a more normal life.

He went on to share the story of the two Missouri hair salon stylists who both continued to work while wearing masks.  Their customers, too, wore masks in compliance with local policy.  Sixty-seven of their customers agreed to be tested and not one of those tested had contracted the Coronavirus.  Masks work so please, #MaskUpND.

Good news from the state of North Dakota.  There will be no need for the Governor to call for allotments this fiscal year.  Allotments are mandatory percentage cuts to state agency budgets, excepting the Department of Corrections and Health and Human Services.

Joe Morrissette, the director of the ND Office of Management and Budget, reported that despite a drop off in sales tax collections, the state has collected enough to top its projections by 2.4% or $76.7 million.  That is not a huge cushion, but it is good news.  And I like to end on good news!

Thank you for your membership in ND United and for all that you do to make North Dakota a great place to live and work.

Nick Archuleta

ND United President