Ignoring calls to speak to the public about omicron, Dunleavy goes into hiding. Again.

Last month, Democratic candidate for Alaska Governor Les Gara called on Governor Mike Dunleavy to hold a press conference with health experts before the fast-spreading omicron variant was able to infect large numbers of Alaskans, but Governor Dunleavy ignored that call.

National experts said at last month they were “expecting a surge of COVID-19 cases in the coming days to weeks” from the new, highly infectious COVID variant, Omicron.

“We should get out reliable information to people so they can protect themselves and their families. Alaska had the advantage of seeing what was happening in other states before this new virus strain surges here. We should use that advantage to protect people and save lives,” said former Rep. Les Gara in December.

But Governor Dunleavy, who recently accepted former president Donald Trump’s hostage-style endorsement of his re-election bid, doesn’t appear at all interested in leading the state through the pandemic, and seems content to do what many far-right ‘conservative’ politicians have done when the people of their state have become infected, sickened and hospitalized by the virus — hide.

Hiding is a tactic Dunleavy is quite familiar with. In 2018 Dunleavy promised a big PFD and often didn’t show up for gubernatorial debates and never gave specifics on how he was going to make a large payout happen. In my opinion, the media gave Dunleavy a pass — never holding his feet to the fire over far-fetched ideas and claims he made during the campaign.

Since the pandemic began, Dunleavy has continually upped his hiding game, choosing only to appear and talk about COVID when absolutely necessary. He has repeatedly refused to tell Alaskans to go get vaccinated — once claiming he had not done so because Alaska wasn’t North Korea or some place in Europe in 1939. Dunleavy has been fine with “mass media” doing his job for him — educating the public on where vaccinations can be obtained.

Alaska’s governor has also referred to the vaccine as a “medical procedure,” which while technically true, is a strange phrase for him to have uttered at a press conference last August – a phrase vaccine skeptics might find concerning when considering whether or not to get vaccinated.

In last month’s press release, Gara wrote that in the face of growing information on how to protect people from illness, Governor Dunleavy has remained largely silent, and held no press conferences on the new Omicron variant.

He’s personally offered almost no advice to Alaskans on how they can protect themselves and their families. “Leadership means helping people prevent illness and hospitalization, not remaining silent when you can protect people,” said Gara.

You can learn more about Gara and where he stands on important issues facing Alaskans on his campaign on his website. You can also find him on both Facebook and Twitter.