Pete Ricketts’ Record On Covid-19 Contradicts His Rhetoric

Dennis Crawford
4 min readDec 27, 2021
Pete Ricketts held an unmasked super spreader event at the State Capitol.

In his last press conference before the holiday season, Governor Pete Ricketts actually issued a helpful message on the pandemic and the vaccines. The billionaire governor recommended that Nebraskans get vaccinated and tested. Ricketts actually said that the “primary line of defense” against Covid-19 was vaccination. “Nine out of 10 people in hospitals are not vaccinated,” Ricketts stated correctly. Incidentally, Ricketts is both fully vaccinated and boosted.

Unfortunately, Ricketts’ excellent message has been contradicted by his record as governor. The former T.D. Ameritrade executive has done everything humanly possible to block vaccine and mask mandates. Ricketts has defied at every turn the Biden Administration’s efforts to get the pandemic under control.

Earlier this month, Ricketts and his COVID team staged a super-spreader event at the Nebraska State Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony. A picture from the Lincoln Journal Star depicted a crowded rotunda area, in which none of the attendees were wearing a mask — in defiance of Lancaster County’s mask mandate.

Ricketts’ super spreader event at the State Capitol has followed on the heels of numerous Ricketts’ policies aimed at sabotaging the Biden Administration and prolonging the pandemic.

What follows is a brief summary of these policies.

Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the Biden employer vaccination/testing mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on this case on January 7, 2022.

Ricketts and ten other GOP governors have filed suit to block mandatory vaccinations among health care workers at Medicaid and Medicare funded health care facilities. This case will also be heard on January 7, 2022.

Ricketts has manipulated the data on the state’s covid-19 dashboard to cover up the surge in new covid-19 cases. “If you live in Nebraska, you may be wondering why the numbers on the dashboard do not reflect the cries from medical professionals…that’s because Governor Ricketts shut down any real reporting of numbers. The public has no idea what the true costs of his failed leadership are.” Jane Kleeb tweet.

Ricketts has rejected CDC mask guidelines.

Kids will even be allowed to stay in school after corona virus exposure this year.

Ricketts has blocked a proposed mask mandate in Douglas County.

Nebraska is now recruiting anti-vaxxer nurses to work at our veteran’s homes, long term care facilities for the disabled and prisons.

Ricketts and other Republican governors sent a letter to the Defense Department requesting the withdrawal of the vaccine mandate for members of the National Guard.

The billionaire governor even appointed an anti-vaxxer and somebody who compared mask wearing to Nazi Germany to the State Board of Education. You can’t make this stuff up.

Unfortunately, Nebraskans — and many of Ricketts’ supporters — have paid a terrible price for his incompetence and sabotage.

According to an AP report on December 18: “Nebraska officials said hospitals might have to put some care on hold to make room for COVID-19 patients. While case numbers are down from the state’s pandemic peak, they could rebound rapidly, and bed availability remains tight because of patients with non-virus ailments…It may be likely that omicron will cause a giant surge, and honestly we can’t handle that right now,” said Dr. Angela Hewlett of Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

The Flatwater Free Press submitted an outstanding article on December 23 about health care rationing at Bryan Health in Lincoln: “Of course you are rationing health care when you can’t get in all the people who need it,” Dawn Isaacs, the hospital’s nursing director, told the Flatwater Free Press. “When we’re making decisions based on capability and capacity, on what we can provide and can’t…Yes, we are in a health care system that is rationing care.”

“The ER looks like a war zone,” said Isaacs, the nursing director in charge of the ER.

“The middling vaccination rates in Nebraska are crippling the health care system,” Bob Ravenscroft, a Bryan VP said. “The unvaccinated population, as we can see from the statistics, is continuing to occupy beds at an unsustainable rate.”

What that means is that due to Ricketts’ failed policies, Nebraska now has health care rationing. I’m old enough to remember when the Republicans predicted during the debate over the Affordable Care Act in 2010, that we would have health care rationing. We do have health care rationing in Nebraska but it’s due to the actions of a right wing Republican governor.

Instead of doing his job as governor , Ricketts has spent most of his time lying about President Biden’s policies with a 2024 presidential run in mind. What Ricketts should be doing is traveling around the state to encourage vaccinations. After all, those are his supporters who are suffering the most.

The 2022 mid-term elections will be here before you know it. Already, four Trump/Ricketts clones are running for governor. We don’t have to settle for eight more years of failure. State Senator Carol Blood is the Democrat running for governor. Blood has won three elections in red-leaning Sarpy County. She can beat the GOP nominee in 2022.

“Don’t agonize; organize. No whining; just winning.” Nancy Pelosi. Now let’s get it done!



Dennis Crawford

I’m an aspiring historian, defender of democracy and a sports fan.