November 20, 2020

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Latest News, Weekender

The Weekender (11/20/20)

Welcome to the Democratic Governors Association’s Friday newsletter, The Weekender.

Let’s get started.

Virginia: Former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox announced his candidacy for governor. Cox could not be more out of step with the values of Virginians. After one term as Speaker of the House of Delegates, voters kicked him and his party out of power for his obstruction of meaningful progress on reproductive rights and health care. Even more troubling, he refused to consider gun violence prevention measures in the wake of the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach. It’s clear this Republican primary will be an all-out brawl between Cox and Amanda Chase to see who can embrace more extreme positions.

“DeSantis Is Letting Them Down”: Florida Governor Refuses to Act to Slow COVID-19 Surge, Hires Conspiracy Theorist For COVID-19 Research

As COVID-19 resurges across the country, governors from both parties are re-implementing mitigation efforts, strengthening mask mandates, and encouraging Americans to celebrate holidays virtually to slow the spread.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has taken a different tack – ignoring pleas from public health experts and doctors across the country and refusing to implement any safety precautions to slow the deadly COVID-19 surge.

DeSantis obviously doesn’t take the pandemic seriously. He even hired a sports blogger, Uber driver, and conspiracy theorist from Ohio to perform the state’s COVID-19 research. DeSantis’ new staffer, Kyle Lamb, said, “I’m not an ‘expert.’ I’m not a doctor, epidemiologist, virologist or scientist.”

Last weekend, COVID-19 hospitalizations in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties increased by 44%. The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board called out DeSantis for his disturbing new hire and inaction on the pandemic: “[Floridians] need a governor who prioritizes public safety, science and the rule of law. Right now, DeSantis is letting them down.”

Midwestern Democratic Governors Featured in Bipartisan PSA Urging Residents to “Mask Up” Heading Into Holidays

A group of Midwestern governors released a bipartisan PSA and an op-ed calling on their constituents to mask up and follow health and safety guidelines going into the winter. The video featured Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, who were joined by the Republican governors of Ohio and Indiana.

The governors said, “When it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team.”

As coronavirus cases resurge in the Midwest and across the United States, Democratic governors have been leading in expanding testing, re-implementing mitigation measures, strengthening mask mandates, and encouraging Americans to keep their social circles small.

Some Republican governors are refusing to implement safety measures that could save lives – 13 Republican-led states still don’t have a mask mandate. Even though her state is suffering one of the worst outbreaks in the world, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem continues to play politics with the virus, refusing to mandate masks, limit gathering sizes, and listen to public health experts.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, responding to Trump advisor Scott Atlas, who told Michigan residents to “rise up” against new COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper, discussing how the Trump administration’s refusal to ensure a smooth transition to the Biden administration puts public health at risk, the need for a federal stimulus package, and her state’s new COVID-19 measures heading into the holiday season.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, explaining his state’s “Herculean effort” to ensure a smooth delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on CNN’s New Day, urging Americans to keep their Thanksgiving celebrations small in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, warning that Thanksgiving threatens to be the largest superspreader event if Americans choose to have large gatherings with people outside their household.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier, discussing how she’s working with Republicans and local officials in her state to implement new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“As hard as it will be to not see them this Thanksgiving, imagine how much harder it would be if their chairs are empty next year.”

  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, along with the Republican governors of Ohio and Indiana, in a Washington Post op-ed urging Americans to stay home this holiday season.

“I don’t think mask mandates are appropriate. I think they create resistance. Masks are just a tool, not the only tool, (and) they are not a panacea to solve all the problems.”

Who said it? Send your answer to press@dga.net and we’ll reveal the answer in the next Weekender!

If you guessed Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick last week, you were right! Patrick, hoping to boost the Trump campaign’s barrage of ridiculous lawsuits, offered a reward of $1 million to anyone who could provide evidence of voter fraud. Unsurprisingly, no one has won the reward yet, and the Trump campaign has been unable to produce evidence of widespread voter fraud. The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a statement last week calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.”