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ICYMI: North Carolina Editorial Board Praises Gov. Roy Cooper’s Pandemic Response and Tells Republicans to “Get Out Of The Way”

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This is an “Effort Motivated for Partisan Political Advantage”

Today, the WRAL Editorial Board praised Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and ordered Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger to “just get out of the way.”
Gov. Cooper has received widespread praise and sky-high approvals for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – resulting in politically-motivated attacks from some North Carolina Republicans. 
Berger has endorsed increasingly unpopular GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest who has put his political motivations above people’s lives and livelihoods during this crisis. In March, Forest was also told to “hush” by The Charlotte Observer’s Editorial Board after criticizing Cooper’s response to the crisis. He has openly supported extremist group ReOpen NC’s efforts to protest the governor’s public health plan, and spread the dangerous lie that the flu had killed more people than COVID-19.
Fortunately, North Carolinians are leaning on Gov. Cooper for guidance. East Carolina University released a poll today showing 76% of voters trust Gov. Cooper to provide reliable information about the coronavirus.
Read WRAL’s editorial below:
Editorial: Sen. Berger should back the governor’s plan
He’s got a fancy corner office on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh. He has a vast staff ready to leap to his every want and need. The government – and campaign contributors – pay for his living expenses. Reporters are at the ready to record and disseminate his every utterance. He can order millions in state spending.
With all those trappings, and more, we can understand why state Sen. Phil Berger is acting like North Carolina’s governor. But he isn’t. We have a governor and it is Roy Cooper.
North Carolina needs just one person in charge. Voters made a clear choice with more than 2.3 million voting to put Cooper in charge. He is North Carolina’s CEO.
But his unyielding efforts to usurp and undermine the efforts of Cooper – particularly in the governor’s efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic – are more than an intramural bureaucratic distraction. They threaten to slow the state’s progress to emerge from the pandemic and revitalize the state’s economy. More significantly, he espouses demands that place the lives of North Carolinians at risk – including demands on religious observance that diverge with the guidance of some of the state’s largest denominations.
In recent days Berger has taken to issuing releases telling (demanding?) the governor to give counties the power to prematurely open restaurants, barbershops and grooming salons. He says it is OK to advise religious congregations that it is OK to hold indoor worship services.
Berger’s reasoning? Other states, including those neighboring North Carolina are doing it?
What is so smart about following the examples of: Georgia where COVID-19 fatalities are 15 per 100,000; Virginia where deaths are 10 per 100,000; South Carolina where it’s 7 per 100,000 — compared to North Carolina’s 6 per 100,000?
Cooper has developed and articulated a plan for confronting the COVID-19 pandemic in North Carolina. He has set out clear steps and goals to be met, so various sectors of our economy and society can, when appropriate, reopen in a measured way. At least three recent statewide polls show North Carolina voters overwhelmingly back Cooper’s approach – including a very substantial portion of Republicans.
Meanwhile Berger, in an effort motivated for partisan political advantage by agitating his political base, looks to erect impediments and foment dissension to Cooper’s plans.
Now, it’s not just about winning political advantage. It is life and death. Real leaders have plans not merely slogans, disruptions and defiance.
It is past time for Berger to support the governor’s plan and help make it successful. If not, just get out of the way.