November 18, 2020 Blog, Press Release

KDP Statement in Support of Gov. Beshear’s Measures to Combat COVID-19 Spread in Kentucky

The following is a statement from Colmon Elridge, chair for the Kentucky Democratic Party:

“As long as I have known Gov. Andy Beshear, I have known him to be a leader who is willing to make tough decisions. I want to thank Gov. Beshear for always being willing to make the hard decisions especially when those decisions literally mean the difference between life and death.

“Every decision the governor has made regarding the COVID-19 crisis has been made after consulting public health experts and taking into consideration any state actions impact on schools, businesses, our ability to come together as families to celebrate or mourn, and our ability to return to places that nourish our spirits such as churches and houses of worship. These decisions, while not easy, have been made because of the clear evidence about the spread of the virus in our communities. I also know that Governor Beshear understands and respects the enormous financial, emotional, and mental toll the pandemic has had across the Commonwealth.

“As a citizen, it has pained and frankly angered me to see this public health crisis politicized. As a country and as a Commonwealth, we once respected the idea that in times such as these, science, not partisanship, would define our outcomes. Now is not the time for our leaders and public servants to play politics with people’s lives or refuse to take science seriously. People are dying. Small businesses are hurting. Communities of color and communities with lack of access to quality and affordable healthcare are disproportionately suffering and dying.

“Like most parents, my wife and I would love nothing more than for schools to be open as they were this time last year. Yet as parents, we know too well the worry of sending our children safely to school. We hear the voices of educators worried about the health risks of coming to school or driving a bus and contracting COVID or worse, transmitting it to a loved one.

This is not who we are and it does not have to be this way.

“Let me be clear, wearing a mask is not a political statement. It is not living in fear. The scriptures tell us to love one another and simply put, wearing a mask, even if inconvenient, is the kind of act of selflessness and love for our neighbors, we are called upon to, as people of faith, as members of a community, and as human beings, to live out. The quickest way to return to a more “normal” existence, is to listen to fact based science and to follow the recommendations that are being made. Anyone who prefers to peddle in misinformation for their own personal agenda needs to work with Governor Beshear, not against Kentuckians. Governor Beshear, and other governors from both sides of the aisle, have put politics aside to continue to save lives, filling the void left by a lack of coordinated federal response. It is time for all Kentucky leaders to do the same.

“The decision could not be more clear. Will leaders stand on the side of life, or will they, as they did in March, stand on the side of partisan, petty, and frankly, deadly politics? The time for grandstanding is over, as every minute so called leaders spend spreading false information and fighting this Governor, is a minute we are losing to COVID-19. I am glad to have leaders like Governor Beshear and Lt. Governor Coleman, who refuse to wave the white flag to COVID-19. Defeatism is not who we are as Kentuckians or as Americans. I hope leaders on both sides of the aisle will show the same resolve.”