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Virginia Senate GOP Leadership Contradicts CDC/White House “Opening Up America” Criteria, Demands “Actual Timeline” to Reopen Virginia

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The following press release, from Virginia Senate Republican leadership, calls on Gov. Ralph Northam “to prioritize the needs of Virginians to return to work,” “recognize our geographic diversity,” and “detail an actual timeline for how long it will take Virginia to reach Phase Three of his ‘Forward Virginia Blueprint.’” The problem, of course, is that the CDC’s guidelines – as you can read here on the White House website – make it clear that what’s required is that a state satisfy certain criteria “before proceeding to phased comeback.”

  • “Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period” AND “Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period”
  • “Downward trajectory of covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period” OR “Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)”
  • Hospitals should “[t]reat all patients without crisis care” AND “Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing”
  • Also: “Governors should work on a regional basis to satisfy these criteria and to progress through the phases outlined below.”

So…other than these metrics based on actual data, what “timeline” do Virginia Senate Republicans want to impose, exactly? Like Trump, perhaps they want to just go by their “guts” or whatever?  And why are they contradicting the White House of their fearless “leader,” Donald Trump? LOL

By the way, Gov. Northam has said many times that he’s talking frequently to North Carolina’s governor, so why do Senate Republicans think that he’s “exclusively coordinating his plans with Maryland and the District?” All in all, this press release just doesn’t seem well thought out; more a non-value-added political shot at Gov. Northam than anything, really. Sadly not surprising given who it’s coming from…

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SENATE REPUBLICANS CALL ON GOVERNOR NORTHAM TO PRODUCE TIMELINE FOR “FORWARD VIRGINIA BLUEPRINT”

WILLIAMSBURG, VA, 27 APRIL 2020: Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), Caucus Co-Chairman Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Caucus Whips William M. Stanley, Jr. (R-Franklin) and Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Republican Leader Pro-Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford) today issued the following statement in response to State Health Commissioner Norman Oliver’s comments on the expected duration of Governor Northam’s “Forward Virginia Blueprint” for reopening Virginia’s economy:

“Although his statement was later ‘clarified,’ we are alarmed that Dr. Oliver’s assessment of Phase One of the Governor’s ‘Forward Virginia Blueprint’ lasting two years may accurately characterize the plan.

“Protecting the health and wellbeing of Virginians merits a deliberate approach to restarting our economy and opening our businesses. But throughout this ordeal, the Northam Administration has failed to prioritize the needs of Virginians to return to work and the perilous position of our businesses.

“By again applying a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, the Governor’s plan will make the people and businesses of Bristol and Lynchburg dependent upon the progress made in Arlington and Alexandria. It is long overdue for Governor Northam to recognize our geographic diversity.

“By exclusively coordinating his plans with Maryland and the District, Governor Northam disadvantages citizens and businesses geographically closer to the four other states we border. Two of those states, Tennessee and Kentucky, have already announced an easing of their restrictions.

“Having the Department of Health ‘clarify’ Dr. Oliver’s remarks is not sufficient to refute the perception of an endless economic shutdown. Governor Northam needs to detail an actual timeline for how long it will take Virginia to reach Phase Three of his ‘Forward Virginia Blueprint.’ Absent a schedule endorsed by the Governor, Virginians may well be subjected to continued extensions of Executive Orders 53 and 55. In that event, Dr. Oliver’s prediction of ‘a two-year affair’ may become prophetic.”