This should be a verrry interesting press conference at 2 pm. I’ll live blog it below!
UPDATE 2:55 pm – Secretary Moran talks about the Parole Board, says there were “some deficiencies in some of the notices…we have received a report, we have responded…in terms of actions that have been taken since March, with the new Parole Board Chair…along with possibilities of correcting some ambiguities in the Code during the 2021 session, we’re going to prepare some legislation…We’re well aware of the complaints and the deficiencies and we’re correcting them.” Says there’s personal information in the report, could present safety risks, it’s protected information and isn’t supposed to be released, per Code.
UPDATE 2:51 pm – Gov. Northam says “these threats are not new…we had threats prior to January…we take the threats seriously…and that’s what we’ll continue to do.” “I’m very thankful to our law enforcement agencies…they’ve done a wonderful job keeping us safe, we feel safe…we don’t work under a cloud of intimidation and I’ll continue to serve Virginia.”
UPDATE 2:49 pm – Gov. Northam’s counsel, Rita Davis, emphasizes that the governor doesn’t have the authority to extend the voter registration deadline, but that Gov. Northam would be supportive of a court order to extend the deadline. The Office of the AG “is on top of this.”
UPDATE 2:46 pm – Northam contrasts what happened with his positive COVID-19 diagnosis, with none of his 65 close contacts testing positive – “compare that to what happened in the Rose Garden…just over a week ago, a gathering where people cavalierly sat together…hugged each other…no masks, no social distancing, and look at the # of people that tested positive…it doesn’t get any clearer than that!”
UPDATE 2:42 pm – Gov. Northam responds to question about Trump encouraging violence, says Trump tweeted “liberate Virginia,” says “words have meaning,” that there are many other examples. “When language is used such as ‘liberate Virginia’, people find meaning in those words and these things happen and that’s regrettable.”
UPDATE 2:41 pm – Gov. Northam reiterates that extending the voter registration deadline will come through working with the courts.
UPDATE 2:39 pm – On the cable being cut, Gov. Northam says it reaffirms why we need backups to our systems. Still have a lot of work to do. This cable was “vital,” with no backup. Working with courts to extend the deadline for registration. This cable was 10 gigawatts; there is a resiliency plan to upgrade backup circuits. Later today, hopefully there will be a temporary solution, while work continues on a permanent repair of the circuit.
UPDATE 2:35 pm – Says it’s “frightening when one is notified” about a COVID-19 diagnosis. Says his symptoms were relatively mild, coming 8 days into the diagnosis. Said he’s glad to be back at the office, has been in daily touch with legislators. Says “Pam and I were very fortunate…we had mild symptoms,” but that hasn’t been the case for 100s of 1000s of Americans. “Think about what this pandemic is doing to us as a society…that’s why we as a Commonwealth…need to take this virus seriously…it is very dangerous.” So wear a mask, keep distancing, wash hands, etc. so we can get children back in school, get businesses back up and running, etc.
UPDATE 2:33 pm – Northam says, “I will not work under a cloud of intimidation.” He says he’s “been in harm’s way” in the U.S. Army, and then “we knew who the enemy was,” “but I wasn’t intimidated by that.” “What is different now which is concerning to me is that the people that are making comments and the rhetoric about our elected officials…are not coming from another country, it’s coming from Washington…and that I regret, and it needs to stop.”
UPDATE 2:30 pm – Again thanks everyone for well wishes over COVID-19 diagnosis, says it’s a “dangerous virus,” when a test comes back positive it’s “frightening,” and that it’s “disheartening” to see people “being cavalier about it.” Says this is a “marathon, not a sprint,” and we’ve got to stay on top of it.
UPDATE 2:28 pm – On the threat investigation related to MI Gov. Whitmer and to him, Northam said this is an ongoing criminal investigation being handled by the FBI, says he won’t take any questions about it. Says he and the First Lady are safe, thanks to the measures taken by the Executive Protection Unit. Fortunately, “there is no imminent danger to me or my family.”
UPDATE 2:26 pm – On elections, Northam says a Verizon fiber was inadvertently cut this morning. Exploring all options to extend voter registration deadline. Says it’s in the code, and he doesn’t have the authority to extend it, so will support a court-ordered extension of the deadline. Urges everyone to register to vote. Says early voting is working extremely well.
UPDATE 2:25 pm – Discusses CARES Act funding being used for hazard pay for home health workers, child care providers, vaccinations, rent and mortgage relief, broadband projects, Rebuild Virginia program, etc.
UPDATE 2:23 pm – Says he signed 6 bills this morning, including one bill that makes Juneteenth a permanent statewide holiday. Notes that the Juneteenth legislation passed unanimously. Also signed legislation providing immunity from civil liability from those treating COVID-19 patients, while not negating standards for gross negligence.
UPDATE 2:21 pm – Gov. Northam says COVID-19 numbers have been doing pretty well, % positive trending downward/now below 5%…that’s a good thing. Says it’s entirely up to Virginians, thanks everyone for wearing masks, social distancing, etc. Says he’s proud of Virginia’s numbers, especially as we see other states’ case counts start to rise. But says now is NOT the time to get complacent as we head into colder months and more people are “closer together, indoors.”
UPDATE 2:13 pm – The presser starts late, following some technical difficulties. Gov. Northam thanks everyone for the well wishes while he and his wife, Pam, had COVID-19. Says they were fortunate, and that many others have not been so fortunate and his heart goes out to them and their families. Northam says he’s been cleared by health officials to go back to work and not stay in isolation anymore. He explains how he’s following social distancing guidelines, mask-wearing, etc. He says he was isolated for 18 days, staff was tested, 65 staff all tested negative (including those who traveled with him)…”that is a testament to wearing these masks.” Reminds every Virginian that masks are “plain and simple” proven scientifically to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thanks the contact tracers and those who arranged testing for staff.
Join me at 2:00 PM for the latest updates on COVID-19 in Virginia.
This briefing will be broadcast live in Spanish on…