Boise COVID-19 briefing

Mayor Lauren McLean delivers an update on the city’s COVID-19 readiness and response during a media briefing at Boise City Hall, Monday, March 16, 2020.

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Boise Mayor Lauren McLean has issued this statement: "Earlier today, in consultation with Boise Police Chief Lee and I asked Central District Health to adjourn their meeting in the interest of public safety. The temperature had risen to a point that wasn’t safe. My priority was and always will be the safety of our residents; the safety of our children home alone with protesters outside their door; of our residents charged with making public health decisions; of the staff that work at these agencies; and of our officers who put themselves between a mob of people and those tasked with protecting public health.

Once again, our officers were asked to respond to people from outside our community whose purpose here was to disrupt local government in action, to intimidate their families. This is not OK. Let me be clear: We will hold offenders accountable. The rule of law is necessary for our democracy, and local government in action. A faction of people seek to disrupt and divide us, but Boiseans have shown time and time again that we’re willing to sacrifice for the health of others.

Our local health board is being asked to make decisions at the local level in lieu of statewide action. And when taking this job seriously – doing everything they can to help address the spread of COVID, they’re threatened and intimidated. No child should be frightened by a mob of protestors, no local official should fear violence for their public service."

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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