Northam Bit by the Bug

Governor Ralph Northam and his wife Pam have contracted the COVID-19 virus, the Governor’s Office announced this morning. The virus apparently was transmitted by a member of the Governor’s official residence staff, “who works closely within the couple’s living quarters.”

The Governor and First Lady, who will self-isolate for ten days, are working with state and local health authorities to trace their close contacts. The Executive Mansion and Patrick Henry office building are closed for deep cleaning this morning.

“As I’ve been reminding Virginians throughout this crisis, COVID-19 is very real and very contagious,” Northam said. “We are grateful for your thoughts and support, but the best thing you can do for us — and most importantly, for your fellow Virginians — is to take this seriously

First question: Did Northam take COVID-19 seriously? He was caught mingling maskless with the public at Virginia Beach this summer. Now he has caught the virus from a member of his residence staff. Did the staff member follow the protocols that Northam’s executive orders require of others? Or did the virus slip past the best of precautions? 

Second question: Did the Governor and First Lady infect others? Will we ever find out?

Third question: If this had happened to President Trump, how many heads would be exploding right now?

— JAB

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22 responses to “Northam Bit by the Bug

  1. Well, it may yet happen to Trump. And many expect Biden to suddenly get it and beg off the debate stage. 🙂 Hey, I think the lesson is the best of intentions and care are not 100%, especially this amazing idea that these cheap-o masks (or a scarf) make that much difference.

    The VDH website has enhanced its data on the site of “outbreaks.” It must add the Governor’s Mansion to congregate settings now. https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus/covid-19-in-virginia-outbreaks/

    Best wishes to both for a mild case and quick recovery.

    • In fairness to Northam, it is the nature of the job of being Governor to interact with a lot of people. He might well have done everything properly and still got infected anyway. But the media should ask the tough questions to make sure that proper protocols were followed.

      I wonder who is responsible for the Governor’s “security” in a pandemic. His state police detail? The VDH?

  2. While I generally despise his politics I do hope the governor and his wife have manageable symptoms and recover fully and quickly.

    A number of my former colleagues and members of my extended family have contracted the disease. My informal analysis is that it’s the risk takers who get COVID-19. The folks who eat indoors, still go to the gym, frequent bars (to the extent allowable), etc. So far, the ones who take lots of precautions seem able to dodge the disease.

    • People who despise his politics should keep in mind that Governor Northam’s replacement, if he dies, would be further to his left, on economics.

      Just as many conservative Republicans fail to grasp the reality of climate change, many progressive Democrats fail to grasp basic economics. At least Governor Northam understands budgets and the laws of supply and demand. He is, after all, a neurologist, not just a career politician who repeats political talking points.

      I hope he and his wife recover soon.

      • I certainly hope the good governor doesn’t die. I assume he’s getting the best medical attention available in the state. As for his understanding of economics … I’m not impressed. The path he and his fellow Democrats have taken is to move Virginia from a mid-tax state to a high tax state. As I look around the US I don’t see a lot of successful high tax states.

        As an economist Northam is a good medical doctor.

  3. I hope their symptoms are mild and that they both fully recover.

  4. Did he meet with Jill Biden yesterday? If so, will fear of contagion cancel Tuesday’s debate?

  5. Some other governor announced yesterday he had it too. Missouri. oklahoma gubna tested positive this summer.

  6. Gee Jim, why don’t you just call a grand jury and have him indicted.

  7. Most politicians who meet with many people are highly suseptible – Governors and other high profile people across the country have become infected even though many wear masks and try to socially distant.

    All this really proves is just how highly contagious the virus is – in the fact of some who say it is a “hoax” and media-induced “fear porn” and there was no need for restrictions that hurt the economy, only the old die, blah, blah, blah.

    • Oh, Fear Porn is real and rampant. Good recent example, heart-wrenching piece on national news about a 28 year female old fatality. Sure, awful. But during the pandemic period more than 13,000 females 25-34 have died, fewer than 500 blamed on COVID, not even 5%. The same story could have been cancer, some blood disease, diabetes, homicide, most likely accident…..If you polled the American people they’d probably say COVID is the leading cause of death and even causing most deaths. That’s what the media focus has been. That and death by cop (or death of cop.) It’s all about what gets covered and what is ignored.

      Trump wins, it continues. Biden wins, it abates.

      Chatted with my new doc this morning, and he said he’s seeing cases coming from 1) air travel and 2) people who attended mass gatherings, say weddings, etc. So I will skip the Trump rally after all….But it is a younger demographic getting it now.

      • “fear porn” coming from Trump and the right also? Is the basic premise that most viewers of media are really ignorant?

        • Persuadable for sure. Not the time for political communications 101. Fear as a tactic all around? No argument. So glad my ballot is in, October is going to be terrible….Sat through a polling presentation that I don’t think I can share, but they are fighting over the smallest pool of undecideds in a long time….6% tops.

          • unopened ballot on coffee table.. will get around to it soon…..curious if K. West is on it. 😉

  8. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    I wish the Governor and the First Lady of the Commonwealth a quick and uneventful recovery. They are certain to get the best of care. I can’t help but to think back to March/April when the Canterbury Nursing Home disaster struck so many down.

  9. Non-partisan hope for a speedy recovery…told my wife today, if one of us gets it, then the other spouse probably does too.

  10. General Assemby wishes a speedy recovery by a vote of 120 to 16, 4 abstained.

  11. Turns out there is some anger in Fredericksburg over the Northams testing positive:

    “Fredericksburg officials who hosted Virginia first lady this week ‘shell-shocked’ to learn she tested positive for virus”

    hawn Calaman wonders why Virginia first lady Pamela Northam was allowed to tour the preschool his son attends when parents haven’t been able to enter the building since March, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    “I guess the photo opportunity was worth more than protecting our kids,” said Calaman, whose 3-year-old suffers from the aftermath of a respiratory viral infection. “I think the whole reason for her tour was just publicity and media attention.”

    https://fredericksburg.com/news/local/fredericksburg-officials-who-hosted-virginia-first-lady-this-week-shell-shocked-to-learn-she-tested/article_32162e58-00de-53b2-bb34-1795289e06af.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

    • Shawn Calaman isn’t too bright if he has to wonder why the wife of an elected official is allowed to things he is not.

      Welcome to Virginia, Shawn. Some animals are more equal here.

      • I can see some legitimate agnst over public officials doing mostly PR and then infecting others if they KNEW they were infected. But Ms. Northam apparently does visits across the state regularly. There is a question as whether she was getting tested regularly.

        Also how did they find out the staff member was infected? Was he/she sick or were they being regularly tested?

        In terms of contact tracing – Virginia actually has a phone app – did they find out the staff member was infected that way?

        What this really points out if one chooses to defer the political aspects of it is just how fast and far the virus can travel. It’s not a hoax and I guess it’s a matter of opinion if in widely reporting it , one would call it ‘fear porn’.

        • Ms. Northam should, given the circumstances that have existed since March, have curtailed her gallivanting.

          But one important aspect of the “Virginia Way” is, “rules for thee, not for me”.

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