HomeBusinessGOP governors slam COVID limits while setting policy agendas

GOP governors slam COVID limits while setting policy agendas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — As the omicron variant rages and fills up hospital beds across the nation, Republican governors are highlighting their opposition to restrictions which have marked the COVID-19 pandemic whilst they search to maneuver previous it and set their agendas for the 12 months.

The state of the state addresses governors are delivering to kick off their states’ legislative classes are occurring as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge to their highest ranges for the reason that pandemic started in 2020 and hovering infections are disrupting seemingly all facets of life, from faculties to air journey.

Republican governors are utilizing the speeches to rail in opposition to the Biden administration’s response, and to tout their opposition to mandates and lockdowns they argue didn’t work to cease the virus.

“These unprecedented policies have been as ineffective as they have been destructive,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who’s eyeing a doable 2024 run for president, mentioned as he took a dig at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s prime infectious illness knowledgeable. “They are grounded more in blind adherence to Faucian declarations than they are in the constitutional traditions.”

Another potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, vowed to push for laws that she mentioned would defend medical or spiritual exemptions from vaccine necessities. The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration’s rule requiring staff at giant companies to vaccinate or get examined, however stored in place an analogous requirement for many well being care staff.

“Unvaccinated Americans are still Americans,” Noem mentioned.

In Arizona, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey complained about “COVID-era posturing and politics of some school board bureaucrats.”

“There’s been too much attention put on masks and not nearly enough placed on math,” Ducey mentioned.

The GOP broadsides in opposition to virus restrictions come as governors from each events have proven little urge for food for widespread public orders, college closures or enterprise shutdowns. But Democratic governors are highlighting the omicron menace as they search an infusion of state funds to handle the spike in instances.

In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has requested the Legislature for $2.7 billion to develop testing and increase hospital staffing because the state copes with a surge of recent sufferers. Things are so pressing, Newsom mentioned, that he desires lawmakers to present him permission to spend $1.4 billion of that cash instantly as an alternative of ready till the brand new funds 12 months begins July 1.

“Where are we? Where are we going? And when is this thing behind us now? No one can answer the latter part of that,” Newsom mentioned. “We’re all humbled by this pandemic.”

Another Democrat, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, has proposed a $10 billion plan to spice up the state’s well being care workforce by 20% over the subsequent 5 years, after the sector suffered excessive burnout charges through the pandemic.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat who received reelection final 12 months, introduced he was reinstating a public well being emergency he had declared due to the pandemic. Murphy mentioned the order was principally to proceed a masks mandate in faculties and daycares. It additionally preserves a take a look at or vaccination requirement for state staff and well being care staff.

“We are all in this together. And we must keep moving forward together,” Murphy mentioned. “But try as it may to knock us back and further divide us, one thing is certain. Omicron has not knocked us down.”

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly requested the majority-Republican Legislature in Kansas to maintain in place by means of March orders she has issued that ease state licensing necessities for medical personnel and nursing dwelling staff. She additionally requested for a freeze on on faculty tuition, arguing it will assist college students damage by the pandemic.

“In every corner of our state, ordinary people continue to do extraordinary things,” Kelly mentioned. “The Kansas spirit of neighbor helping neighbor has never been stronger.”

Even as they rail in opposition to vaccine necessities, some Republican governors are nonetheless urging holdouts of their state to get vaccinated.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, I encourage, I plead, I beg of you to speak with your doctor and do so,” Indiana’s Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb mentioned. “I say this, even if you’ve disagreed with every position I’ve taken. I want us both to be around to continue those disagreements.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice canceled his deliberate look earlier than lawmakers to ship his state of the state speech after testing constructive for COVID-19. But the Republican governor nonetheless delivered a written speech learn by a clerk.

While highlighting his opposition to vaccine necessities, Justice hailed the state’s incentive program that included prizes all through 2021 to residents who bought vaccinated. Justice earlier this month requested the federal authorities to permit West Virginia to start providing a fourth dose of the vaccine to sure at-risk residents 4 months after their first booster shot.

“We will continue to be the light in the dark, until this pandemic is behind us once and for all,” Justice mentioned.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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