Many former Guilford County commissioners, once they step down from that office, are very quiet about local politics.

 But former Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips isn’t one of those people.  On Saturday, March 20, Phillips posted a strongly worded message on his Facebook page stating that North Carolina and Guilford County should drop mask mandates and fully open up, given the current COVID-19 numbers.

Phillips began his post with “Happy First Day of Spring!” – a greeting that signifies the weather is turning warmer. 

Then Phillips went on to make his case to local elected leaders and others who read his Facebook posts.

 “It’s time to end the mask mandate and fully open Guilford County and the state of North Carolina. Now.” he wrote in the post. “Here are the facts: The vaccine is being widely distributed (Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the incredible work of tons of front-line healthcare workers).  COVID-19 hospitalizations in Guilford County have dropped from a peak of 270 at the end of December down to 48 within the county’s entire healthcare system as of 3/19/21 (530,000 population).  COVID-19 positives are at the lowest levels since the spring of 2020.  Statewide positivity rates are under 4% (5.8% 14-day average, 4.1% daily rate on 3/17/21 in Guilford County). Most importantly, the virus recovery rate continues to be approximately 99% and rising (40,467 citizens tested positive the past 12 months in Guilford County. A cumulative total of 1251 hospitalizations and 543 deaths as of 3/19/21 in Guilford County).”

Phillips was a county commissioner until December of 2020.  He decided not to run for a third four-year term for the District 5 commissioners’ seat he held.

 The former three-time chairman of the Board of Commissioners went on in his post to state that the county and state must “release our citizens to the freedom, personal responsibility, and pursuit of prosperity the United States of America was founded and built upon.”

 “Now,” he added.