North Dakota Needs a State Health Officer Who Realizes They Aren’t the Governor

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks to the media next to Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the McGovern Alumni Center in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

MINOT, N.D. — After Gov. Doug Burgum’s administration rescinded a quarantine order yesterday, one which had misdemeanor criminal charges attached to it for violators, interim State Health Officer Dr. Paul Mariani has announced his resignation.

He’d been on the job for less than a month, and he’s now the third person to step down from the position since the pandemic began.

It will be tempting for some, particularly Burgum’s political enemies, to suggest the governor is doing something wrong.

From outward appearances, I’m not at all certain that’s true. I think our real problem is in finding someone for the SHO role who understands that they are not the governor.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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