Republicans’ Irresponsible Disregard for Public Health Threatens Lives

Richmond, Virginia — In the wake of the biggest one-day spike in Virginia deaths due to COVID-19 so far during this pandemic, Virginia Republicans have rushed to demand Governor Northam allow businesses to reopen and return to business as usual. These demands ignore not only the advice of public health professionals but also the wealth of data indicating that social distancing is critical to slowing the spread of the virus, ensuring our medical system doesn’t become overwhelmed and, most critically, saving lives.

Progress Virginia released the following statement from executive director Anna Scholl:
“Nothing about this pandemic is easy or simple. We are all feeling the anxiety that comes with threats to our families’ health and financial security. But for Virginia Republicans like Mark Obenshain and Tommy Norment to exploit Virginians’ fears in an irresponsible and misguided push to ignore the advice of public health experts is nothing short of reckless. We all want to go back to normal, but as Dr. Anthony Fauci has noted, ‘You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.’”

Instead of threatening the health and safety of Virginia families through advocating policies that would absolutely increase the spread of COVID-19, Virginia Republicans should focus their rhetoric and effort on supporting the incredible frontline workers who are helping our communities get through this crisis: grocery workers, delivery drivers, healthcare providers, public safety workers, and so many more.”