Aspen Daily News columnist Paul Mentor wrote a critical and accurate commentary on the comments of outgoing Pitkin County commissioner George Newman. Reading it, I could not help but recalling another critical comment he made regarding Garfield County concerning Pitkin’s Covid 19 affidavit. At the beginning of December Newman told the Vail Daily.

“I think we have a really good system in place as best we can for our visitors, but frankly I think the elephant in the room and I’m just as concerned about is 30 miles down the road, where you got a county with county commissioners who seem to be ignoring the science in front of them and knowing that so much of our workforce is traveling up on RFTA or carpooling, That’s an issue that we are exposing ourselves to because another county’s unwillingness to make these hard choices … that puts us at risk and our businesses at risk.”

One month later the evidence is in. According to the New York times Pitkin county averaged 171 infections per 10,000 people over the last two weeks. By comparison, Los Angeles county, the center of the pandemic averaged only 101 infections and infection rates in surrounding counties were similar. The infection rate in Garfield county was 63 per 10,000, one-third the rate in Pitkin county.

There is an old adage that people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks. So much for Aspen’s exceptionalism, George.


Philip Verleger