Governor Cooper is failing his state responsibilities as he focuses only on Covid-19 numbers and ignores the impact that his mandates are having on the state’s economy, its residents and businesses.

As we’ve noted previously, the governor has avoided talking with his constituents choosing instead to focus on pandemic statistics. He’s dictated a variety of restrictions that initially were designed to flatten the curve in an effort to avoid a surge of coronavirus cases but now that objective has been reached he is continuing to hold back opening the state based on the fear that we may see a resurgence of the disease.

So what is the governor’s goal here? To flatten the curve by restricting the rapid rise of cases which has been accomplished or the elimination of the disease? If it is the latter then he, Don Quixote like, is tilting at windmills to accomplish something that is outside of his control. He cannot eliminate the disease.

The governor should now focus on issues that are within his control and responsibility. He needs to address the needs of the residents and businesses that have been negatively impacted by the closure of the state’s economy. But the governor is hiding behind the daily COVID-19 statistics while ignoring the state’s unemployment statistics that detail the human and economic impacts of his mandates.

As of May 11 the state reported 15,045 confirmed cases of the virus, 515 had died from the disease and 464 patients were hospitalized. At the same time the state’s department of commerce reported 1,112,790 unemployment claims had been filed and only 487,654 (44 per cent) had been paid. As a result of the paltry unemployment fulfillment numbers North Carolina ranks last in the country for providing timely support for the one million plus citizens out of work.

This newspaper’s online website, Carolinacoastonline.com continues to receive comments from local readers who have been waiting for responses from the state’s employment security commission. In some of the cases the commenters note that the state Division of Employment Security (DES) has responded with promises to begin making payment only to be told later that there is some confusion or dispute that is holding up payments.

One writer noted, ”I filed on March 25, 2020. My status still says pending. In this technological age, there should not be problems like this. Now I am digging into my savings which I shouldn't have to do at this point. Get it together and get your constituents paid.”

Unemployment numbers for both the nation and the state are expected to be 20 per cent by the end of this month. In the case of North Carolina that will mean 2 million people out of work and expecting unemployment compensation. That is a frightening number and a daunting responsibility that doesn’t seem to concern Governor Cooper or officials at DES.

The unemployed are frustrated and in some cases desperate for answers and money. The vast majority of these people are ready to go back to work where they are needed. Not only will their employment support the local economies but they will support the state coffers which are not being filled by sales and payroll taxes and at the same are being drained to support the unemployment benefits.

Many of the services that residents and businesses rely upon are in financial trouble. In some cases the impacts are paradoxical. For example, hospitals, facilities we would anticipate doing well in a major health crisis, are in financial distress because they are restrained from conducting normal operations, activities that generate the profits to maintain highly skilled staff. Because of the reduced or restricted activities dictated by government leaders, most hospitals have had to reduce any of these normal activities resulting in some facilities facing closure. This is just one of many critical industries that need immediate reopening.

The overzealous focus on defeating the pandemic is creating a greater human crisis. The recent United Nations report predicting that the economic fallout from the pandemic will kill more people than the disease should spur all elected officials, starting with Governor Cooper, to focus on the human strategy of recovery.

(14) comments

David Collins

It is an election year complete with posturing and plumping . It is all about your safety . Isn’t it ?

dc

As is true in plenty of other states NCs most vulnerable hit hardest with 47% of deaths at nursing homes/residential care facilities with records missing for 3,000 lab-confirmed cases & 39 deaths. That's not impressive. The state's oversight of these facilities is terrible. So, the rest of us have done a pretty good job of being "safe" whatever that means? Well, Cooper & Cohen how about doing your jobs & protect the most vulnerable & let the rest of decide for ourselves.

kenwood

A simple question for the good editor. If governor Cooper was to comply with your wishes, that is opening businesses, and a sudden rise in virus cases took place with an additional rise in deaths, just what would the good editor recommend? "Stay the course" to quote a former president? Let Duke Energy or Golden Coral make the call? It's one thing to harp on those doing the work on the front line, and quite another to be the one on the front line itself and taking all the heat. This is no place to be playing Monday morning quarterbacking. I might add that your callous, implied comparison of the number of unemployed to the number of deaths from this virus is absolutely reprehensible. There is no way a reasonable, caring person would compare a human life to that of the loss of a job.

David Collins

In a perfect , idealistic , world , filled with pixie dust and unicorns , to totally shut down society out of fear of getting sick would indeed be the proper course of action . Now , with No One working , how on earth would you be fed , clothed , sheltered and everything else that goes with life ? Remember , no one is essential in any way shape or form so nothing , Nothing is provided . Could you answer this please ?

JusticeForAll

Cooper ran for the office, got elected, therefore, is responsible for his duties and decisions that are applicable to the office. No passes for the quarterback. There is no suggestion by this article that they are choosing someone's life over a job. Pure emotional gibberish. No one has to venture out and be exposed to this virus. But the majority of people do need to make a money, to pay bills and continue with life. You are asking 95% of the population to change their life because...? It may be a harsh realization, but humans die. Unless you commit suicide, you do not get to choose when, where, how, or why. With this pandemic, those making the calls right now, namely, the government, have created a boondoggle, vacillating back and forth, with information and direction. Are we all ready to be tested for this virus each and every day? Or to stay in isolation until it is safe. Who determines that? The numbers go down, but then boom, up again, so we create a cycle of perpetual isolation? And don't worry, round two is coming soon. This virus is not the only thing killing humans right now. So how to we stop all death? Because by your logic, we should stop any and every means of death to prevent any human from dying.

DeadBolt

COVID-19: When Should Kids Go Back to School? [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm7o_TI6mY4 ]

David Collins

One thing you have to remember is that all and any , government officials that are calling the shots in all this , get paid every day . You might not but they do . Remember this come November . That is if they actually let you vote ! This is an emergency , if only in their minds .

DeadBolt

In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the Gov. Tony Evers’ administration’s stay-at-home order. Sorry LEFTIE COMMIES, no win here! [tongue_smile]

kenwood

One writer asks the question "When should kids go back to school" while another frequent contributor of the same persuasion has often characterized our school system as a sewer. What gives?

David Collins

Humph , no answer to my question . Figures .

David Collins

Based on what I have observed locally , beg the question , should have they ever left school . Reason , the Excel learning center , down the road , is and has been open for business . And the difference between the two is .........? Appears the closing of the left wing public schools might be , just might be a Little , tiny bit politically motivated perhaps . Butttt , that would never happen these days . Would it ?

The sewer reference , well , there are systems that resemble that remark . Baltimore , NYC , Chicago , and like areas have been featured in a number of exposure programs over the years . Never been there so just hazarding a best guess .

dc

Believe some day cares were open for "essential personnel" like military. The public schools comment is on target for big far left sanctuary, crime pit, etc cities including NC. Plenty problems in our area but we are in better shape than most. Public ed is & has been for some time handing out HS diplomas to poor if not non-readers for years to make stats look better. Berger pushed reading improvement by adopting FL model which has made some improvements by wisely pushing phonics. Problem was his original legislation had no "teeth". He should have copied legislation mandated in the MS model. MS after being at the bottom of the education pile forever is now leading the nation in reading improvement scores. Read about it & you'll see MS did it right by forcing change from the top in university teacher programs down to the classrooms & everything in between. It was just a matter of teaching everybody involved that whole language, balanced literacy, etc wasn't as great as the liberal experts, high dollar consultants, had professed all these years. Some good articles in hechinger reports one in particular about a western PA district superintendent made impressive improvenents along same lines. Lots of resistance wherever change is tried but those that refuse to let the resistance run the show & force the change like the state of MS & that district in PA reap the benefits.

LE226

Let me first start off stating that I am a law-abiding citizen. I do not advocate violation of any laws unless they possibly could be in violation of civil liberties, the constitution, are invoked without due process (Laws not passed through the legislature), are arbitrary and without the voices of the people being heard, by decree of the governor or anybody holding a position of power without feedback, information, data, science, experts in the science and medical field, the business person(s), leaders in business, experts in finance, local and state Chamber of Commerce, and I could go on and on.

Given the above the restrictions/laws or whatever you may want to call what is happening as I write this may be unlawful. I will leave that to legal experts to research and bring about legal action through the courts.

A large class action by everybody affected by this ought to look for and get on retainer the best legal minds they can get to represent them and take it all the way through each and every court possible.

Is overall civil disobedience in order? I will leave that up to those affected by this to answer for themselves and work toward a movement to get it going.

I support any action in civil disobedience to get this tyranny over turned. NC business should mobilize for a call to action for one day and to continue on thereafter and open their businesses all at once!

A stockade would need to be built to house all those in violation and paper citations would over whelm the courts. Let the legal system attempt to handle the over whelming civil disobedience as well as our dedicated LE officers.

No violence, comply if confronted and let it play out in the courts with great legal representation on retainer. Businesses unite together, get funds (whatever you may have left?) together and hire the best legal minds that can be found to fight on your behalf.

Don’t just march on Raleigh, march state wide and open up your business. March in Carteret County, Downtown Morehead City, Arendell Street, Hwy 24, etc. You are essential! Everybody involved in this is essential! NC is currently being decimated!

I am for NC and the USA! Rule of law based on civil liberties and the Constitution. Let the flames begin.

dc

Believe Forest was 100% correct that Council of State was supposed to be consulted before the statewide shutdown which the arrogant governor did not do. Forest should have been praised but he has not been & arrogance will probably be re-elected.

Welcome to the discussion.

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