Of all the times for a dangerous issue to become politicized, you'd figure the pandemic would be one we could agree on for the safety of everyone.
Instead, we somehow have people who decry the use of masks to prevent the spread and listen to conspiracy theorists about the danger, or lack thereof, of the disease.
Even worse, politicians are spreading the allegations that this disease isn't so bad, possibly putting people in danger.
Idaho Rep. Tammy Nichols discusses Facebook post regarding death of Caldwell nurse practitioner www.youtube.com
Republican State Representative Tammy Nichols of Idaho's 11th district was recently taken to task for sharing on Facebook a false claim that a story of a 45-year-old nurse who died due to complications from the disease was a hoax.
Instead, the conspiracy theory states that Samantha Hickey, a nurse practitioner in Canyon County for over 15 years, died from a random heart attack, but happened to test positive for the virus.
This comes from a place of fear that people control with outlandish conspiracy theories claiming the whole world is in on just to scare them and hurt Donald Trump.
Despite doctors ascribing the complications and cause of death of Hickey to the virus, people still want to find an out from reality.
Rep. Tammy Nichols, ladies & gentlemen. On her private page sharing conspiracy that nurse’s COVID-19 death is a hoa… https://t.co/ph4CPxxNN6— Alicia Abbott (@Alicia Abbott)1595471390.0
@Hayley__Harding @shesinscrubs Disgusting.— ljar_7890 (@ljar_7890)1595566524.0
If Tammy Nichols is your Representative, be aware that she is putting effort into providing misinformation about th… https://t.co/RMjH8R7CUR— Misanthropologist (@Misanthropologist)1595612160.0
Tammy Nichols should resign immediately. But she’s from Middleton so she’s probably a damn hero.— He Who Covers Face (@He Who Covers Face)1595533907.0
The Facebook post was quickly deleted and Nichols proclaimed herself innocent.
As she told the Idaho Statesman, she shared it to her personal page without comment to look at it later when she had time.
However, she also commented on the original post, saying:
"So she died with covid as opposed from covid."
This seemed contradictory, so the Statesman asked for further clarification.
This is how she responded:
"My understanding is that dying from [the virus] is that there were no other underlying health issues or circumstances, dying with [the virus] is that there were other health issues or circumstances involved."
In case you were unaware, that word salad is not how it works.
The virus can infect the respiratory system and cause damage to the lungs and heart. In the case of Samantha Hickey, her husband explains, the virus infected her heart and caused myocarditis.
Other issues can arise from the body's reaction to the disease, which is why some symptoms can resemble the flu or common cold. However, the danger here is much greater.
Lastly, and the point of contention for some, is that it's possible for these issues to not kill a person directly, but instead exacerbate a problem someone already had, such as asthma or a heart condition. This could cause the death of someone who would have lived had they not gotten the disease, even though it's another condition that technically killed them.
Basically, what we're saying is that Nichols' defense is bad and she should feel bad.
@nicholsforidaho is so low. Instead of apologizing, she denies being a completely heartless science denier. Here’s… https://t.co/UrkrUvfboG— Alicia Abbott (@Alicia Abbott)1595558684.0
ID state legislator Tammy Nichols (R) got caught promoting the death of a nurse as an example of the "Covid hoax".… https://t.co/gDlf6eBc2L— The Breeze🇺🇲😷 (@The Breeze🇺🇲😷)1595796291.0
What a coward. https://t.co/D0XZtzvdHq— Idaho Covid Project (@Idaho Covid Project)1595546649.0
What an awful person. Rep. Tammy Nichols should be ashamed of herself. https://t.co/nywH1PUFWZ— MidlifeSentence (@MidlifeSentence)1595567730.0
Many online were rightfully upset at the comments and actions of Nichols, especially since she's shared anti-mask sentiments in the past.
Others found her opponent in the 2020 election and thought he could use a boost.
Who's running against Rep Tammy Nichols this fall? https://t.co/DjY6H7BVse— Carol Livingston (@Carol Livingston)1595611819.0
Our current pandemic is a dangerous time. Are the doctors trying to fight the disease going to get everything right? No. Are they going to change their recommendations when the evidence changes? Yes.
Right now, our medical experts are our best bets at containing the disease and reducing the number of people who unnecessarily die.
So please, wash your hands thoroughly. Stay home as much as you can. Wear a mask if you have to go anywhere.
And don't share unfounded conspiracy theories.