Op-Ed: Good Riddance to Flathead County Health Officer


[Brenda Roskos] Shouldn’t a Health Officer know the bare basics about public safety and be willing to implement them? Also shouldn’t they be open enough to be willing to learn? When one doesn’t have the desire to do that, well then, it’s best to go. Tamalee St. James Robinson, Health Officer who is presiding over Flathead County, has retired from her position and will depart on December 31st.

Flathead Health Officer, Tamalee St. James Robinson

To describe her nature in a word? INEPT. OK, two words. Inept and LAZY. And ignorant. I suppose that’s three words. But don’t worry, there are lots of more words that will work (click here for examples).

Robinson stated last summer at a Fair Board meeting, “We all need to mask up because it’s a law!”

We were perplexed. What law is that? Say what? Mandates and directives are no more laws than an elephant is a cat. And that’s just the beginning of the fiasco concerning the career Robinson holds as the Flathead County Health Officer.

Robinson also publicly stated, “I can’t wait for the vaccine!” She seemed genuinely perplexed that some of us in the Flathead aren’t so eager to inject ourselves with expedited mystery drugs designed to cure an ailment that doesn’t kill healthy people.

When asked over the phone by a concerned and highly educated citizen what she knew about labs and testing, Robinson replied, “I don’t know about the labs or testing.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME,” I thought? She’s the health officer presiding over a county of 103k people! And when asked what she knew about cycle thresholds (the very thing that each and every Covid 19 result hinges upon) she stated, “I don’t know what that is.” At which point the citizen stated, “You need to know what this is!” Robinson then replied, “Well when you find out let me know.”

Grasp this folks. This health officer doesn’t know the very core of what makes a Covid test! That’s inept. And speaking of inept..at a City Council meeting fairly recently, Robinson stated that, “Covid is similar to Tuberculosis.”

Now to be honest, her statement was in the context of how the disease spreads or travels. But let’s be REAL. First off, one has about a 99% survival rate. The other? It is most certainly a death sentence. Also, one’s a bacteria and the other (Covid) is a virus. Also, Tuberculosis deaths are always that, caused by Tuberculosis. Covid, on the other hand, is so convoluted it could be a myriad of things that compounds a reason for death but is rarely the cause of it. But Tuberculosis has never been a cash cow to catastrophizing health nurses, which is another difference.

I have not found Robinson to care one iota about the elderly suffering in isolation, higher suicide rates due to unnecessary lock-downs, or businesses that suffer. While Robinson calls herself a “Community Caretaker” (which seems to be a favorite term of the Nanny State), she seems to have little concern for the damage the government is capable of in an over-reaction to this respiratory virus.

Like so many health officials given the momentary spotlight and fifteen minutes of fame, Robinson seems most to care about numbers rather than people. Showing zero fiduciary responsibility to understand “the numbers” like how positive testing rates correspond to an increase in testing, Robinson has shown hysterical reactionism rather than studious or steady leadership.

Meanwhile, grandma is dying from a lack of hope and starving herself to death in a local care facility after months on end of not getting to see her family and friends. But restrictions and lockdowns are all for the sake of the greater good, right?


In fact last spring there was an abnormally high amount of elderly people passing away from exactly that; lack of hope via lockdowns. The Flathead County Sheriff also remarked, “how many more suicide calls I’ve been getting.”

Here’s another tidbit shared by a concerned citizen…

Twenty-one deaths (54% of Covid deaths total in Flathead County) were in Long Term Care facilities. My question is, “Where was the Health Department? Why weren’t they helping the LTC’s deal with this mess?”

Up until the end of September, the health department was reporting if the deaths took place in LTC facilities or not, but after the end of September, they stopped being reported on their website. Obviously (one can conclude) to make things appear as though more deaths were happening outside of Long Term Care facilities.

Robinson stated recently that they, “Face protests on the way to work.” This is a GOOD thing. It means the US Constitution is still alive and working in Flathead County. The Health Department seems to disregard the rights of the people.

Let the record show that this woman takes her marching orders directly from Governor Steve Bullock and the DPHHS. And her guidebook? It is anything that comes her way via the CDC. The Flathead City-County Health Department headed up by the queen bee Tamalee would go far beyond her stated, “modest restrictions” in a New York second if we allowed it. No Tamalee, no we’re not going to cave in and give into your “restrictions” because once we give you an inch you’d take 15 miles. You’ve proved that you’re not trustworthy.

Let her go. In fact we don’t really even need a health officer!

Ah but, then there’s Kerry Nuckles. Kerry is a highly emotional, overly dramatic employee of the health department who spouts nonsense such as “needing refrigerated morgue trucks” (meaning to pick up all the dead Covid bodies off the streets, via refrigerated tractor-trailers.) In fact, Nuckles is the “Senior Management Director” aka (Deputy Health Officer) under Tamalee who is next in line for the role of “Interim Health Officer.”

Heaven help us. Kerry Nuckles is also the person who headed up and wanted approval from the County Commissioners to authorize 170k for the purchase of the “Mobilization Vaccination Unit” (which is a single, smaller van). One problem Nuckles didn’t anticipate was the fact that Covid Cares funding is only to be spent on COVID PURPOSES. A COVID-19 vaccination isn’t even out yet and this “Vaxx Van” headed up by Nuckles would have been cruising around Flathead County doing what exactly? All in the name of Covid! It’s a good thing the County Commissioners had the common sense to overrule this request.

Flathead County does not have a future permanent Health Officer set in place as of now. And remember, this Health Department takes its marching orders from Bullock, the DPHHS, and the CDC. So hopefully once Gianforte enters the scene with much more skilled DPHHS employees, things will change. We have the political, “Red Sweep” to thank for that.

[Editor’s Note: This op-ed was written by Flathead County resident, Brenda Roskos]


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