Northern Idaho’s anti-government streak hampers COVID fight

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.