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Lt. Gov. McGeachin on Fauci: I'll "lock him up"

Janice McGeachin for governor
James Dawson
/
Boise State Public Radio
Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, right, shortly before greeting a crowd on the steps of the Idaho Capitol in Boise as she announces her bid for governor in 2022.

Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin told a crowd of her fellow Republicans this past weekend she wants to imprison one of the country’s top infectious disease experts.

McGeachin, who is running for governor, spoke at the Kootenai County Lincoln Day dinner in Coeur d’Alene.

In her speech, she blasted an annual conference hosted by Boise Police and Boise State University to educate law enforcement and public safety professionals.

A promotional flyer for the event highlighted a session on right-wing extremism, which got boos from the crowd. The conference website now lists that session as covering “political extremism” in general.

McGeachin said the conference should be canceled.

Instead, she said, “I will invite the lying [Dr. Anthony Fauci] to Boise State University and we’ll lock him up.”

Dr. Fauci serves as one of the top coronavirus advisors to the Biden administration. He’s frequently been the target of far-right attacks during the pandemic.

Boise State Public Radio reached out to McGeachin’s office asking what crime she believes Fauci committed and on what grounds she could arrest someone but didn’t immediately receive a response.

McGeachin is closely aligned with former President Donald Trump, who endorsed her candidacy for governor. Trump backed the frequent chants at his rallies of “lock her up,” referring to his former opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Fauci has advocated for public health measures like wearing masks and getting vaccinated against COVID-19. As the New York Times reports, political candidates across the country are making the scientist a focal point of their campaigns.

“I didn’t make myself a polarizing figure,” Dr. Fauci told the newspaper. “I’ve been demonized by people who are running away from the truth.”

McGeachin has long shirked restrictions aimed at curbing the pandemic.

She visited a brewery in Kendrick in May 2020 that opened well ahead of Gov. Brad Little’s re-opening schedule. She’s also attended mask burning rallies and has attempted to ban mask and vaccine mandates while serving as acting governor.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!