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ICYMI: Maine Gov. Janet Mills Receives High Praise for Being a “True Leader” During the COVID-19 Pandemic
“Mills looks more and more each day like the leader Trump and LePage could never be.”
Yesterday, Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz praised Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills for standing strong “in her insistence that this is, first and foremost, a public-health crisis.” While some Republican governors are taking extraordinary measures to go against the advice of public health experts, Gov. Mills has run her state’s pandemic response based on science and data.
The result of her steadfast leadership? As of today, Maine has the lowest estimated virus reproductive rate in the country.
Gov. Mills’ efforts have also been heralded by the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald Editorial Boards. The BDN ed board noted how Gov. Mills’ quick action to institute COVID-19 restrictions right when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed likely prevented a larger outbreak in the state.
Gov. Mills’ continues to be unwavering in her commitment to stopping COVID-19 in Maine. She recently announced 18 “swab and send” testing sites to expand the state’s already impressive testing regime.
Read more about Gov. Mills’ true leadership below:
Portland Press Herald: Bill Nemitz: Lucky Maine – a true leader when we need one most
Remember back in early June when President Trump, on his way to visit nasal swab makers in Guilford, had a griping session with former Gov. Paul LePage?
“Why isn’t your governor opening up your state?” Trump asked.
“I don’t know. We don’t know,” replied a starstruck LePage.
“All these states are being reopened. They’re making a lot of money,” Trump continued. “You have a governor that doesn’t know what she’s doing. And she’s like a dictator, you know?”
“Yes, she is,” LePage replied.
It’s now July 16. Those states that were “making a lot of money,” as Trump so admiringly put it, now find themselves crippled with record spikes in COVID-19. One after another, they’re shutting down.
Look at any map, any fever chart, any statistical compilation and the same story emerges: When it comes to containing the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Maine stands out as a model in setting public health as its uppermost priority.
Dictator? With all due respect to Dumb and Dumber, Mills looks more and more each day like the leader Trump and LePage could never be.
According to the COVID Tracking Project, we’re currently testing at 280 percent of the level needed to slow the spread of the virus – placing us second only to Connecticut in this all-important strategy for staying one step ahead of epidemiological disaster. And that was before Tuesday’s announcement that 18 new “swab and send” testing sites will be activated all over Maine in the coming days for residents and tourists alike.
Beyond that, with total cases at 3,578 and total deaths at 114 as of Wednesday, we remain among the handful of states that have so far avoided a major spike in transmission of the virus. In fact, Tuesday’s tally of just eight new cases marked just the fourth time since the early days of the pandemic – but the second time this month – that new daily cases were in the single digits.
And our positivity rate, which shows how many COVID-19 tests performed come back positive?
According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Maine’s seven-day average now stands at less than 0.9 percent, well below the World Health Organization’s recommended positivity rate of 5 percent or lower. By comparison, Arizona’s positivity rate has soared in recent days to just under 25 percent.
All good news, particularly as Maine moves toward salvaging some semblance of a summer tourist season. Even better: On Tuesday, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah reported that only 3 percent of the positive cases documented here to date have involved people with out-of-state residences.
One can only imagine what kind of shape Maine would be in right now if all of this had happened on LePage’s watch. Come to think of it, we need only to look at Florida, Arizona and other states run by Trump sycophants to see what happens when economic blinders obscure the ever-present danger of the pandemic.
Mills is 100 percent right when she says Maine is far from out of the woods. And the Republican peanut gallery will undoubtedly continue to vilify her for each and every negative economic indicator that comes down the pike in the coming weeks and months, as if she alone is responsible for a calamity that has only begun to leave its permanent scar on world history.
That’s a far cry from LePage, who’s made no secret of his plan to challenge Mills should she run for a second term. During his confab with Trump last month, he sputtered that he’d tried to steer the governor in another direction, but alas …
“What I advised her to do, I tried (to tell) her to do is … you can only get into Maine two ways – well, three ways: the Canadian border, the 95 or Route 2,” LePage told the nodding president. “So, if you put somebody at Route 2, everybody who’s got a foreign plate – you know, an out-of-state plate – you check their name, telephone number, where they’re going to be, problem solved. If you have an uptick, you go right there.”
Brilliant, Big Guy. Absolutely brilliant.
See you in 2022.