Raleigh, NC – Today, Civitas Action is calling on Governor Roy Cooper to announce the creation of a timeline to restart North Carolina’s economy after the state’s partial economic shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Civitas Action President Donald Bryson released the following statement:
“Yesterday, millions of North Carolina families were unable to exercise their constitutional right to worship according to their conscience. At lunchtime, many of those families looked at each other over an Easter lunch and wondered if they could afford the meal that was in front of them. North Carolinians need a message of hope, but all they have received from state and local governments is more fear and increased restrictions.
“Models on the COVID-19 outbreak show that North Carolina is going to weather this storm well under original projections, a testament to the sacrifice of all North Carolinians. We are asking Gov. Cooper to begin formulating plans to re-open our economy.
The state government can simultaneously be concerned about protecting lives from infection, safeguarding livelihoods, and respecting personal liberty. These concerns don’t need to be in contradiction to one another. It’s becoming increasingly clear that North Carolina is going to weather the viral storm, but now we need to get out of the economic flood.
We have never had better technology or data to help with public policy decisions, and blanket edicts that treat all North Carolina communities the same are simplistic and draconian. This public health crisis has snowballed into an economic crisis, and if people cannot pay for groceries, rent and utilities, it will turn into a different kind of health crisis. Gov. Cooper, let our people work.
Finally, we urge Gov. Cooper to direct local governments to not go beyond constitutionally delegated authority including: determining essential products and services, restricting access to private property, and restricting religious services.”
Civitas Action will launch a grassroots telephone campaign, urging tens of thousands of North Carolinians to call Governor Roy Cooper and ask him to re-open the state’s businesses.
· COVID-19 Projections – On March 29, the Raleigh News & Observer reported that the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation COVID-19 projections anticipated 2,400 deaths in North Carolina. On April 6, the News & Observer reported that those projections had been downgraded further. As of April 12, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s projections anticipate 416 total COVID-19 deaths in North Carolina, and that the state will have the required capacity for hospital beds and intensive care beds.
· North Carolina unemployment – According to the Associated Press, “…the state’s unemployment benefits office had processed close to 404,000 claims since March 14, the federal agency said — equal to more than 9% of the total state workforce eligible for unemployment insurance. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the state was processing about 3,000 claims a week.”
· Texas re-opening – Gov. Greg Abbott is drafting an executive order for guidelines for re-opening Texas businesses. Abbott said that the order will look at ways to provide economic revitalization to Texas safely.
Civitas Action is a 501(c)(4) non-profit that educates and informs North Carolinians on policy issues and the actions of their elected officials.