Lt. Governor Forest on Governor's Phase 1 Announcement

Raleigh, NC

Today, Lt. Governor Dan Forest releases the following statement:

"The Governor's Phase 1 rollout makes it clear that he feels that only he can protect us from this virus. He does not believe that North Carolinians have enough self-control, restraint, or common sense to act responsibly in a world with COVID-19. While his announcement finally recognized that all jobs are essential, his new order changes very little across our state. For a state that prides itself on being 'First in Freedom,’ the Governor has repeatedly denied North Carolinians the freedom to make decisions for themselves, their families, and their livelihoods. I understand completely the cautious approach that he and governors around the country took two months ago, when there was so much uncertainty around how this virus could attack someone. However, with all the data publicly available from other states, there is no need to continue using fear to drive policy decisions. 

"When we have over one million citizens on unemployment (with less than half of those receiving benefits), countless medical surgeries and screenings delayed, and businesses on the brink of permanent closure, it is time to do everything possible to give people a chance to live and utilize their God-given freedom once again. If we are able to social distance outside at parks, why are we not able to do the same in outdoor seating at restaurants? If we are able to congregate at 50% capacity in a big box store, why can we not do the same with social distancing at our houses of worship? It is way past due for the Governor to shift strategies and put measures in place that restore our freedoms in a responsible manner."