Douglas County Commish Laughs At 560,000 Dead Americans

Douglas County Board of COVIDiots.

Denver7’s Robert Garrison reports on the resolution passed this week by the all-GOP Douglas County Board of Commissioners, declaring with the combined weight of exactly zero medical or public health experience that “the pandemic is over”–and ordering DougCo to drop its defenses against COVID-19:

Declaring that “this pandemic is over,” the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a resolution to opt out of further Tri-County public health orders beginning Friday…

Commissioner Abe Laydon brought up the Hans Christian Anderson’s folktale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” as a way to describe how further health restrictions in Douglas County, in his view, doesn’t match up with current data.

“Based on the facts that we have before us today, I want to have the courage of that young child (in Anderson’s folktale), and for Douglas County to be first county in the state to say that this pandemic is over,” Laydon said. [Pols emphasis]

For those who don’t get the literary reference, first of all shame on you. But DougCo Commissioner Abe Laydon is referring to the moment in The Emperor’s New Clothes when a child blurts out the obvious fact that the emperor in question is naked. Because, like Layton and his fellow DougCo commissioners have been saying from the beginning, this whole COVID-19 thing is way overblown! These Republican elected officials, as our readers know, have callously disregarded the threat of COVID-19 from the first days of the pandemic following Donald Trump’s dismissive “it will just disappear” lead.

You have to know the reference to understand just how offensive it is in this context. Laydon is saying that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed over 560,000 Americans and is not yet done, is political fiction like the emperor’s new clothes.

The truth is that by most estimates we are finally on the back side of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular the vaccination of a majority of the most vulnerable means that the threat of severe illness and death is in decline. But with the vaccination campaign racing against a variant-driven “fourth wave” of infections, it’s more important than ever to pay heed to the experts and keep up best practices to limit transmission of the virus until we’ve really, epidemiologically gotten to the end.

Last spring and summer, when the death toll from this pandemic was still hypothetical instead of the crushing reality it is today, Douglas County’s political grandstand against COVID-19 prevention measures, demonizing their own health department to the extent that public health workers were receiving death threats, was irresponsible. With 560,000 Americans dead, this cavalier attitude is nothing short of unconscionable.

How can anyone in public office be so flippant in the face of tragedy? Is this what DougCo stands for?

26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. spaceman2021 says:

    Sadly, they represent a lot of their constituents' sad and pathetic views.  And people will die because of it.  Zero surprise


  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    The declaration that the pandemic is over in a county currently experiencing one of the highest case occurrences in Colorado (now averaging 40 DAILY cases per 100,00 — and climbing) makes some mighty fine County Commissioners clothing — George, Lara, and Abe in their very best denialist birthday-suit finery.

    And, yes, people are dying (now averaging 2.0 DAILY deaths per 100,000 and climbing — Colorado’s 3rd highest county death rate) and many more will, because of these fools’ plague of willful ignorance and their giddy willingness to spread that contagion . . . 

    . . . “Rain, rain Virus, Virus go away . . .” three morons have declared it! See what amazing “courage” we all have, kiddies!!??!!

    • NOV GOP meltdown says:

      It's pretty obvious (at least to most) that continuing to wear masks and to social distance for a while longer is the hard thing, but the right and responsible thing. People without character and decency don't care about the right thing, and these 3 idiots are among them. MAGA stunts like this garner votes though, so here we are.

      It's like we're all on a ship together, in a massive storm, and the captain says we're taking on water fast and everyone on board has to start bailing water. These are the jackasses who say well, you're not the boss and you can't make me !

      Janis Joplin was wrong.  Lately, freedom's just another word for being a selfish asshole.

      • unnamed says:

        Janis Joplin was wrong.  Lately, freedom's just another word for being a selfish asshole.


        She might have been right when she wrote the song.  Wrong over the last 10-12  years.

        • NOV GOP meltdown says:

          I think she was right for sure when she wrote the song.  The word freedom has been so abused and perverted these days when I hear it the first things I think of are fascism and totalitarianism.

          • 2Jung2Die says:

            I hate to play the role of "Freedom Rock Trivia Nagging Grandpa," but Kris Kristofferson wrote the song. Janis just tore it a new one.

            • NOV GOP meltdown says:

              Hey I am totally down with that 2Jung – it was Kris.  I am not sure if I got this right, but I did hear one time that Mr. Kristofferson stole a helicopter and landed it in Johnny Cash's backyard to get Johnny to pay attention to his demo tape. Ballsy move…

            • Genghis says:

              Yep, that's one of those "someone else did the definitive version" deals. As in, Willie Nelson wrote Crazy, Patsy Cline did the definitive version, Otis Redding wrote Respect, Aretha Franklin did the definitive version, Mark Knopfler wrote Brothers in Arms, Joan Baez did the definite version (arguably true of Robbie Robertson's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down as well), and – speaking of Johnny Cash – Trent Reznor wrote Hurt, Johnny Cash did the definitive version.

    • nerp says:

      Super important to note that 40 daily cases is per 100,000 – When you see these numbers in Douglas Co, multiply times 3.6 to get the actual number of people… 

      So, that's 144 new COVID infections EACH DAY, and …

      Seven people dying  every single day. 

      Just to put that in perspective: 

      That's 1 Columbine High School shooting every 2 days, or
      One Aurora theater shooting every 2 days, or
      2 Boulder King's shootings every 3 days

      Does this help to understand what the hell these idiots are doing? Why aren't we holding vigils for the 7 people killed every day by these jackasses?

  3. Genghis says:

    These people are monstrous fucks and the world will be a measurably better place when they've dropped dead, but in the meantime I don't think it unreasonable to make sissyboy Layton pay the funeral and burial expenses of all future Douglas County COVID victims.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Marginal "good news" —

    population ~350,000;  ~25% are below 18, so ~263,000 are above

    according to the CDC, Douglas County has 41.5% of those over 65 and  18.7% of those over 18 fully vaccinated (~50,000).  Based on national averages, ~10% (~26,000) have one of two inoculations (Another 25,672 residents have had confirmed cases of COVID, so presumably, they are (relatively) protected.  ~100,000 of ~263,000 adults have some protection.


    H.L. Mencken … "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

    • nerp says:

      Meanwhile, you have 25% of the population below 18 transmitting and mutating the virus like crazy. It's only a matter of time before those kids make a virus that will easily break through the adult's protections. If you doubt this – look at the contract tracing / outbreak map … hotspots are focused around schools. 

      Your best bet – keep your kids home from school, mask up and shop only in other counties where the outbreak is under control. Stay away from schools and businesses in Douglas County. Bars and restaurants will be the next hot spots.

      • kwtree says:

        I don’t know that it’s quite as bad as you predict, nerp. Kids are transmitting at schools, true, but most adults in schools have been vaccinated, and vaccination does protect against variants. Deaths and serious disease are waning except in the most Trumpian counties. 

        So we really need to get school aged kids vaccinated ASAP, keep pushing science , keep all the habits of masking and distancing, until we have most under-18 people vaccinated. 

        Another piece of data- if you get granular on the school data, and look at, for example, the school coronavirus dashboard in Jeffco, you can see that it is not the high-poverty schools with the most cases, but the wealthier and whiter ones. 

        As a “guest teacher”, I get around to most buildings in a district, and can see what the practices are.
        I attribute this to laxness in the sports programs, ( one athlete can and will infectall teammates, their families, and unvaccinated staff), some arrogance and perceived invulnerability, and less rigorous control over the student population. The working class schools are minimizing hallway movement and eating in public spaces. The wealthier schools are allowing this. 

        • nerp says:

          Vaccinations appear to protect against some variants. New variants are being discovered all of the time. Some current or future variants may even evade testing. 

          Interesting info on the dashboard you linked to … I hadn't seen that but it makes sense: poorer neighborhoods are usually more liberal. I hate to draw the correlation to politics, but it's just the rhetoric that circulates in the political bubbles. If you're in a red bubble, you are more likely to be taking a "wait and see" attitude. Blue bubbles are more likely to want to get the vaccine.

          I drove to Pueblo to get my vaccine because of its political leaning. The guy at Walgreens told me he was vaccinating about 12 people a day there – whereas the ones up north in Highlands Ranch are tapped out and taking 30-40 appointments a day. I asked him why and he said "I don't know – maybe they think it's Biden's way of controlling the masses?" He literally said that to me. Mind you – he was vaccinated. I know it's anecdotal, but the school data seems to also bear that out.

          The private Christian and Catholic schools seem to have the worst numbers on the Colorado map. 🙁

          In any case, we all need to rid ourselves of these commissioners at the first available opportunity. Honestly, if this thing goes badly in the next month, I'd say we boot them out of office and recall them all.

  5. Early Worm says:

    Just to be crystal clear, three County Commissioners have declared that their County will ignore public health experts. Experts pay for, in part, by the County. I know that it is a familiar refrain amongst us liberals to mock the conservatives for ignoring "facts" and "science," but this is really next-level delusion and hubris. If there is a God, I hope she is keeping track and makes these people account for their sins. 

    • gertie97 says:

      In Mesa County, the lord high commissioners have declared masks, distancing, etc., are no longer necessary beginning tomorrow. Everyone, they say, is “free to choose'' for themselves. Businesses can go maskless, or not, their choice. Same with the peepul.

      Something tells me “freedom to choose'' does not apply, as far as they're concerned, to women and their reproductive rights.


  6. MattC says:

    If they really cared about the people, they would also end drought  and the designated hitter.

  7. skeptical citizen says:

    Lora Thomas' previous experience as Douglas County coroner serves her well in making this outrageous decision. "This pandemic is over" = (preventable) mass disaster.

    Responsibilities of a coroner may include overseeing the investigation and certification of deaths related to mass disasters that occur within the coroner's jurisdiction. 

  8. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Abe Laydon said the pandemic is over. Sorry, Abe. The Custer County Board of County Commissioners already beat you to the punch.

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