GOP governor refuses pandemic mandates as third health officer quits in one week
Greg Gianforte rides a mechanical bull (screenshot/Facebook)

Hospitals across Montana are being overwhelmed by unvaccinated patients as the state's death toll rises and county health officials keep resigning as backlash by Covid-deniers has required police to intervene.

On Friday, Sanders County Health Officer Nick Lawyer resigned after being blamed for the death of a man's wife who did not receive Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.

Only days later, on Tuesday, Butte-Silver Bow announced Health Officer Karen Sullivan would be retiring.

Another resignation of one of Montana's 56 health officers was announced only the next day.

"On Wednesday afternoon at their quarterly meeting, The Blaine County Board of Health accepted the resignation of Health Officer and Public Health Nurse Jana McPherson-Hauer, effective Friday, October 15th," Josh Margolis reported for Hi-Line Today.

Also on Tuesday, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced he was deploying National Guard across the state despite the widespread availability of free, safe, and effective vaccines. Gianforte signed the nation's only law preventing hospitals from requiring vaccination by medical staff.

"The hospitals include St. Peter's Health in Helena, St. James Healthcare in Butte, Bozeman Health, Missoula County hospitals, Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings. Billings Clinic had already received 10 volunteer National Guard troops last week and will receive an additional 10 troops following a second request," Montana Public Radio reported.

The state was also back in the national news on Wednesday as Rachel Maddow discussed Helena's crisis standards of care and NBC News reporter Gabe Gutierrez aired a follow-up report on MSNBC that Patrick Burschia, 24, had became the youngest person to die at the Billings Clinic.

Burshia was unvaccinated.