State Legislators unofficial Special Session

Rep. Tammy Nichols addresses a group of fellow lawmakers during a self-described “special session” at the Idaho State Capitol, Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

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On Wednesday night, a post on Idaho Rep. Tammy Nichols' personal Facebook page began circulating on social media before it was taken down, writes KTVB-TV reporter Brian Holmes. The original post claimed the death of Samantha Hickey, the 45-year-old nurse practitioner from Caldwell, was a hoax. Hickey died July 13 due to complications of COVID-19, according to her employer, St. Luke's Health System.

Nichols, R-Middleton, on July 22 shared a post on her personal Facebook page, which stated that COVID-19 was not the cause of Hickey's death, and it was being reported as such to incite fear in the public. 

Nichols also contributed to another thread saying Hickey died with COVID as opposed to from COVID. As KTVB reported last week, there is a distinction between the two phrases.

Hickey's death, however, was not misreported, Holmes reported0.

KTVB, our Idaho Press news partner, reached out to Nichols for comment on the matter. She said she didn't have time to talk on camera but sent this statement:

"I saw the post and shared it on my private Facebook page without comment or sentiment so that I could go back and look into it, as I found the post intriguing, and wanted to see just what exactly was said regarding the unfortunate death of the nurse. I did not delete the post on my end, I am not sure what happened to it. The reality is that I posted it so that it was easy for me to find and look into later."

You can read the full story here at (subscription required), or pick up Saturday's print edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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