At the press conference to announce the signing of the COVID-19 bills held by Gov. Roy Cooper and legislative leaders on Monday, May 4, it appeared the folks in Raleigh were getting along.
However, on Tuesday, May 5, all of that conviviality was gone and Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Phil Berger sent out a blistering press release about Cooper’s decision to impose the Phase 1 stay-at-home restrictions on the state beginning on Friday, May 8.
Berger notes that the people of North Carolina were told the reason that the economy had to be shut down was to “flatten the curve” to avoid a spike in COVID-19 cases that would overwhelm hospitals in the state.
Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen has said repeatedly, “We have flattened the curve.” In answer to a question about a possible spike after implementing Phase 1, Cohen said that the state had plenty of hospital capacity not just in acute care but also in intensive care beds. She said that a spike of hundred cases could be handled.
In the press release, Berger stated, “Gov. Cooper’s announcement today is largely a continuation of the existing lockdown. A statewide stay-at-home order still remains in place, and nearly every business that applied for essential status has already been operating at limited capacity so long as they practice social distancing.
“We were told ‘flattening the curve’ to prevent overloading hospitals justified a lockdown. Hospitals are not overloaded, and in fact they’re laying people off.
“So what is the theory to support this plan – eliminate infections or just delay them? Gov. Cooper apparently disagrees with Colorado’s Democratic Governor and others who say that a continuing shutdown will not cause a peak in COVID-19 cases to be any less severe, it will only push it down the line.
“Today in North Carolina, over half of our counties comprise less than 10% of confirmed cases. Why is a blanket, on-size-fits-all statewide order justified? I’m concerned that Gov. Cooper is ignoring more reasonable approaches and the experience of the majority of the states.”