North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said, “pandemics cannot be partisan.” The coronavirus may not be partisan, but deciding the best way to deal with it certainly is.
Republican state senators have gone after Cooper for his decision that churches and other houses of worship can have no more than 10 people attend an indoor service.
Now Republican state senators, including President Pro Tem of the Senate Sen. Phil Berger, are asking that counties be given the flexibility to decide whether hair salons and barbershops can open.
The press release from Berger’s office notes that 25 states “including nearly every state in the Southeast, have reopened hair salons and barber ships in some capacity, and three more have announced reopenings in the next few days.”
Hair salons and barbershops are primarily small businesses and the owners and employees can’t make a living since the stay-at-home order has forced them to shut down. The press release also states that hundreds of thousands of unemployment applications are still unpaid by the Cooper administration, so these people have no source of income.
Berger said, “It’s time to follow the lead of the majority of states in our region and the country. Hair salon owners and employees can’t work and many of them still can’t get unemployment assistance from the Cooper administration. Gov. Cooper needs to provide counties with the flexibility to reopen hair salons and barber shops if they choose.”
Although 99 out of 100 counties in the state have had at least one case of COVID-19 reported, 15 of those counties have had fewer than 10 cases reported and 24 counties have not reported a single COVID-19 death.
Yet, the stay-at-home order, including Phase 1 of the reopening process, makes no distinction between these counties with an extremely limited number of cases and counties such as Guilford that has had 670 reported COVID-19 cases and 44 deaths.
Berger added, “The majority of states in our region and the country have reviewed the science, facts and data and reached a different conclusion than Gov. Cooper’s. What is his strategic endgame in choosing a different path based on similar facts and data? We need a view into his administration’s goals and thinking.”