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Northern Idaho’s anti-government streak hampers COVID fight

A vehicle with a Gadsden flag sticker is parked in the lot at Independence Point, Friday, Sept....
A vehicle with a Gadsden flag sticker is parked in the lot at Independence Point, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Northern Idaho has a long and deep streak of antigovernment activism that is confounding attempts to battle a COVID-19 outbreak.(AP Photo/Young Kwak)(Young Kwak | AP)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 8:31 AM MDT
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COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — Northern Idaho has a long and deep streak of antigovernment activism that is confounding attempts to battle a COVID-19 outbreak.

The surge has overwhelmed hospitals in the deeply conservative region. A deadly 1992 standoff with federal agents near the Canadian border helped spark an expansion of radical right wing groups across the country and the area was for a long time the home of the Aryan Nations, whose leader envisioned a “White Homeland” in the county that is now among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hospitals in northern Idaho are so packed with COVID-19 patients that authorities announced last week that facilities would be allowed to ration health care.

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