Pressure for Gov. Cooper to announce more definitive plans for how North Carolina can reopen its economy keeps building with 29 N.C. Senate Republicans issuing a letter urging him to provide more details. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger is among the signers.
Cooper says he will disclose more information this week, including plans for the state’s public schools. That can’t come soon enough for the Senate majority, which notes in the April 21 letter that the seven weeks since Cooper started issuing executive orders shuttering businesses and requiring citizens to stay home “feels like an eternity.”
Border states South Carolina and Virginia have taken more aggressive measures than North Carolina on allowing more business activity. Both are led by Republican governors, while Cooper is a Democrat.
Public health experts, including some top Duke University medical leaders, warn against premature openings that would boost the number of people who contract the COVID-19 virus and potentially overwhelm N.C. hospitals. North Carolina has reported about 213 deaths from the virus, substantially fewer than many other large states.
The Republicans’ letter noted, “With respect, why haven’t you communicated a step-by-step plan to reopen our economy and put North Carolinians back to work … Your administration has superior access to information, and has exclusive access to much of the data that has not been publicly disclosed. Transparency, not secrecy, will foster public trust during a pandemic.”
Cooper’s press secretary Dory MacMillan sent this statement:
Republicans control 29 of the 50 N.C. Senate seats.