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Gianforte Says He'll Unveil COVID-19 Response Plan After Taking Office

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R)-Montana

In his first press conference since the election, Gov.-elect Greg Gianforte said his administration will prioritize its COVID-19 response when it takes office next month. He did not mention specific policy plans.

Gianforte was vague on details Friday, but said he’ll unveil more specifics after he receives recommendations from a COVID-19 task force that he created shortly after the election. 

"The trends right now are alarming. And it’s clear we need to get a better handle on this virus."

Gianforte said the state needs to protect its most vulnerable residents while fully reopening the economy, a statement he made often on the campaign trail. He did not commit to keeping or undoing any of the public health directives that have been put in place by Gov. Steve Bullock.

Regarding the state’s mask mandate, Gianforte said during his campaign that he trusts Montanans to make the right decision for themselves. He said on Wednesday that he wears a mask and will encourage others to do so.

Gianforte said he doesn’t expect his administration will make many changes to the state health department’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, which will prioritize vulnerable populations and frontline health care workers. 

"There’s not going to be a lot of disparity in the overall objectives."

Gianforte said Montanans can submit suggestions for the state’s response at

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.