Just as we were eagerly looking forward to a glorious Memorial Day weekend in Virginia Beach, Gov. Ralph Northam dropped a stink bomb.
At his Friday press conference, in his cloying, paternalistic way, Northam said he had some homework for the commonwealth. He wanted everyone to get a mask. Details to come on Tuesday.
Can’t wait. Clearly another authoritarian mandate is coming.
And good luck with your next edict, Governor. No one takes you seriously anymore.
Not after Saturday, anyway, when the whole world saw him frolicking on the Virginia Beach boardwalk, leaning in for selfies with fans and not even pretending to care about social distance.
Northam’s going to have a hard time continuing to whip up COVID-19 panic after this. He demonstrated that he wasn’t worried one bit about the virus. The media made much of the fact that Northam wasn’t wearing a mask on the boardwalk. Of course he wasn’t. Wearing a mask outside is idiotic and unhealthy. Who cares about that?
Conscientious folks are at least trying to maintain a little distance around strangers.
Perhaps the governor was so shocked that some folks actually wanted to be photographed with him that he forgot that he was supposed to be spreading fear and hysteria.
After social media exploded Saturday with image after image of Northam canoodling with the hoi polloi on the boardwalk, his spokeswoman tried to spin Northam’s behavior into something acceptable.
The Governor has repeatedly encouraged wearing face coverings inside or when social distancing is impossible,” spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky said Sunday.
He was outside yesterday and not expecting to be within six feet of anyone. This is an important reminder to always have face coverings in case situations change — we are all learning how to operate in this new normal, and it’s important to be prepared.
Nice try, lady. But few things are more amusing than watching a mouthpiece spouting cliches like “new normal” in a vain attempt to excuse her boss’s boneheaded behavior. Fact is, Northam was once again exposed as a preening hypocrite.
It’s time someone asked Northam why, if masks work, hasn’t he slapped coverings on the faces of Virginia’s inmates and kept them in their damn cells.
So far at least 35 convicted murderers and about 200 other felons have been freed, with scores of others about to be sprung before they’ve completed their sentences.
Surely the governor knows that there have been exactly FIVE coronavirus deaths in all of Virginias jails and prisons.
Five! Out of tens of thousands of inmates.
Yet as soon as the pandemic began it was prisoners that the governor and his pals at the ACLU fretted about.
Going to prison shouldn’t mean a death sentence, these squishy hand-wringers chorused.
Well, being stuck in a nursing home shouldn’t be a death sentence, either, but that’s exactly what it is. Sixty percent of all Covid deaths Virginia have been to residents of nursing homes. On Saturday the state reported 12 deaths from Covid-19. Ten of those were in old peoples’ homes.
Instead of evacuating the facilities and getting the healthy residents to a safe place, Northam focused on rescuing felons.
Now he’s turning his attention to healthy Virginians and threatening all of us with some sort of mandatory mask order.
Meanwhile, he canoodles maskless and cheek-to-cheek with strangers.
Northam’s strange behavior last weekend may prove to be a bigger public relations disaster than that unforgettable blackface press conference he held last year where he offered to moonwalk.
Only a sharp jab in the ribs by his wife kept him from making a complete fool of himself. Unfortunately, she wasn’t with him Saturday.
As we exchanged photos of the governor over the weekend, law student and local business owner Seth Connell quipped that the governor can’t catch COVID-19 because “he has that sovereign immunity.”
Ralph Northam is a national punchline. And he has no one to blame but himself.
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