Rethinking Ralph Northam

By Peter Galuszka

Governor Ralph Northam has been taking his lumps, especially from critics on this blog, for his performance in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

He’s been described as inept, incompetent, unresponsive and, incredibly, as potentially dictatorial.

What is indeed curious is that while Northam was slow to get moving on virus issues, he has gotten rave reviews from the public, at least according to one poll.

More than three quarters of those contacted, 76%, approve of how Northam is handling the coronavirus crisis, according to a statewide poll conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Of those, 40% have replied that they “strongly approve” of Northam’s performance. The approval ratings cross party lines, the poll reports, with the highest overall approval ratings being in Hampton Roads.

Regionally, Northam seems to score behind Larry Hogan, Maryland’s Republican governor, who has drawn national attention for his pro-active measures to combat the disease.

Hogan, Northam, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper have all been in daily contact regarding how to proceed in an organized way to deal with medical equipment shortages, COVID-19 hotspots and plans to restart economies.

Although not as tightly organized, the group mirrors to some extent the pact of seven Northeastern states led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to do the same.

A similar effort is being coordinated on the West Coast by Calf. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee.

One reason for the regional pacts is the absence of leadership by President Donald Trump. As Bacon’s Rebellion bloggers and commenters complain that Northam’s social-distancing rules are a fascist attempt to close beaches, Trump is actually making real sounds about dictatorship.

This week, he proclaimed that when it comes to reopening the economy his authority is “total.” He backed off when shouted down by various governors. Then he came up with the juvenile statement: “Tell those Democratic governors that ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ was one of my favorite movies.” (Note that he mentions the movie, not the novel.)

The point here is that is the right, if not the duty, to oversee Northam and criticize him when needed. It is not to keep raising refutable claims of incompetence or authoritarianism.

One regrettable blog posting on B.R. this week was not just silly but irresponsible. The author complained that Northam was crossing civil liberties by advocating social-distancing, which has been repeatedly regarded by experts as a successful way to combat COVID-19.

I don’t see Northam as trampling on anything. If there is a gas leak at a chemical plant, the police have every right to cordon it off for public safety.

What does cross the line in a big way is having police turn away cars with out-of-state plates at state borders as Rhode Island and Texas have done. Virginia has done nothing of the sort, but I am sure that eventually some will falsely claim that Northam has.

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62 responses to “Rethinking Ralph Northam

  1. re: ” He’s been described as inept, incompetent, unresponsive and, incredibly, as potentially dictatorial”

    … at the SAME TIME! 😉

    yes… for all the fetid blather here in BR about Northam – the reality is that he’s apparently doing an “ok” job in the eyes of most.

    Oh, I’m sure.. once the boo-birds get their message out , that the public will finally figure it out… so this post will probably gin up more uproar from the usual suspects! Northam will again be sliced and diced… flogged for effect.

    The real funny thing is – this is the moment that many have been looking for – for instance, K-12 and Higher Ed are on their proverbial backsides and having to rethink how that world works – and in the meantime, parents have unparalleled decision power over what their kids learn or not.

    • johnrandolphofroanoke

      Mr. Larry I agree with how education is on its back side. Reminds me of a tick or stink bug stuck on their back. Arms and legs wiggling around and stuck. Can’t flip over!

      • yes… but it would be a HUGE mistake to squash some types !

        I DO wonder exactly what a teachers role will be now.

        Will we really need as many – if one teacher can teach 10 or 20 remotely why not 50? How will “title” teachers teach?

  2. One reason Ralph is enjoying a certain high level of approval is because the euphemism for unthinking, willfully ignorant, radical, rabid (usually armed) “rightwingism” is “Michigan Militia”. And why are the Michigan Militia in Michigan? Because Virginia had first choice.

    • good lord NN ! a prediction – the Michigan thing is going to spread – including Virginia – gonna be a “convoy” to Richmond…

      • Why not? They came here to enjoy Charlottesville.

        As for Jame’s “No one on this blog has… fascist”, the keyword was “COMMENTERS”.

      • johnrandolphofroanoke

        Yes Larry! You are right. I heard this song yesterday on WKCW. I know a lot of guys that would join the convoy.

        Cause we got a little convoy
        Rockin’ through the night.
        Yeah, we got a little convoy,
        Ain’t she a beautiful sight?
        Come on and join our convoy
        Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way.
        We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
        ‘Cross the U-S-A.
        Convoy!

  3. For the most part, you advance reasonable arguments here, Peter. I don’t necessarily agree with the overall conclusion, but the arguments are reasonable and worth engaging. However, you undermine those arguments with needless rhetorical excess.

    No one on this blog has ever called Gov. Northam’s social-distancing rules “fascist.”

    You have no evidence whatsoever to suggest that any B.R. contributor will at some point “falsely claim” that Northam has turned away cars with out-of-state plates.

    While it’s true that some of us have adopted an air of constructive criticism — adopting, as I described it, the role of “the loyal opposition,” as opposed to “the resistance” — none of us has called Northam or his actions “authoritarian.” Kerry Dougherty did use the phrase to describe the behavior of Virginia Beach police when chasing her son and grand-daughter off the beach, but not the governor.

    Perhaps you are writing for the benefit of fellow travelers like LarryG, in which case you’ve achieved your objective. But if you’re trying to change minds, it does not help your cause one bit to put into the mouths of others words they never uttered. A helpful criticism: Use actual quotes in the future of those you disagree with.

    • I think Peter is dead on and if we have to go back through the posts and comments to get quotes – then so be it but anyone who has seen the comments here know the kinds of things being said – and yes, Northam HAS been accused of wrongly locking down the State AND come commentors saying that soon they will ignore those orders.

      The criticism of Northam here in BR has been relentless and much of it, anything but “constructive” .

      Do you REALLY want a comment with quotes of the criticism?

      • I was going to point out the use of the word “COMMENTERS” to James, and I’ll bet a dollar to a dime that one possible comment might have even come from a blogger.

        As for predicting that someone *MAY* suggest something false in the future, well, what is predicting a peak based on eXcel spreadsheet?

        • Yep… Jim is on weak ground here. the width and breadth of critical comments here is undeniable.

          • The long list of Northam Administration failures with bills of particulars is what’s undeniable. He deserves all the criticism he has gotten.

    • johnrandolphofroanoke

      I think Mr. Bacon is correct to point out that the Rebellion’s criticism of Northam’s policies are necessary and constructive. The criticism is noticed and perhaps gaining traction. Mr. Peter’s defense of Northam seems very thin to me. I am not convinced by the argument. I don’t think Mr. Peter is going to change my mind on this one. Mr. Peter did get my blood pressure to jack up for a half of a second.

  4. Every governor has sky high approval ratings right now. In this poll, Ralph Northam has very good ratings but he is still #38 among US governors:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/coronavirus/governors-average-27-percentage-points-higher-in-approval-for-covid-19-response-than-president-trump/ar-BB125j1Z?li=BBnb7Kz

    George W Bush’s approval rating peaked at 92% after 9/11.

    Northam was late to act, failed to launch an effective testing regime, has a health administrator who apparently didn’t realize that testing platforms already existed in the state and is the governor who presided over the worst nursing home disaster in the country.

    • Well, somebody has to be 38th, but he’s still higher by a wide margin than the failure in D.C.

      “George W Bush’s approval rating peaked at 92% after 9/11.”

      Followed shortly thereafter with “Mission Misunderaccomplished”

      • You are making my point. A temporary jump in approval rating during a crisis says nothing about the actual performance of the person receiving that rating. Peter’s attempt to gloss over Northam’s failures is nothing more than an attempt to use a meaningless statistic to prop up a failed governor for partisan reasons. If Northam were a Republican there would be no effort from Democratic commentators to justify his shortcomings.

  5. Here’s a good article on Cantebury along with the importance of broad based testing.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/silent-killer-inside-coronavirus-outbreak-canterbury-nursing-home/story?id=70126687

    “Early on, COVID-19 lurked silently inside the Canterbury nursing home. When the entire population was finally screened, more than three weeks after the first resident fell ill, 60% of those testing positive had yet to show any symptoms.”

    Three weeks from the the first patient in a nursing home falling ill to full screening? Please tell the residents of Cantebury and the families of the dead what a good job the Northam Administration has done.

    The risks of COVID-19 were well known from the outset of this epidemic based on the early death rate at the King County, WA long term care facility. This should have been a warning to all governors about the dangers in long term care facilities. Yet it took 3 weeks from the time the first resident at Cantebury fell ill until all the residents were screened.

    • You must be evolving in your views DJ. Are you moving on from “are you feeling lucky punk”?

      Nursing homes across the country are having the SAME problem that Cantebury is having. We basically warehouse the elderly – 2 or 3 to a room for the basic low-cost ones – and there is not enough PPE to change every time you deal with a different patient.

      Nursing homes as we know them , were NEVER designed to function in a pandemic… lessons learned… no Northam is not the fault.

      • If I were in a long term care home I wouldn’t be feeling lucky at all. As I’ve tried to explain to you, a one size fits all lockdown represents a ridiculously blunt force approach as the epidemic starts to peak. Germany is reopening its economy as we speak. But the Germans had something we lack – competent government at both the national and state level (yes, Germany has 16 states). This competence led to an effective testing regime primarily administered by the states with limited national government interference.

        As for Cantebury – as of two days ago it was the long term care facility (among the thousands of long term care facilities) with the most deaths. The worst, Larry. And not in New York City but in Virginia which is far from a national hotspot.

        Before you defend Northam you have to internalize two points:

        1. Virginia’s per capita testing has sucked out loud and;
        2. Germany’s success is attributed to high rates of testing by its states

        Sorry Larry but the reality of Northam’s effectiveness begins and ends with those two points.

        https://reason.com/2020/03/30/early-and-broad-testing-helps-explain-why-covid-19-looks-less-lethal-in-germany/

        • re: Catebury is the “worst”. Yep but not by much and the problem has nothing to do with Northam despite the critics.

          re:
          Before you defend Northam you have to internalize two points:

          1. Virginia’s per capita testing has sucked out loud and;”

          not good but compared to most other states not that different.

          “2. Germany’s success is attributed to high rates of testing by its states”

          Yes – let by the National Govt. The very same that happened in South Korea and Singapore.

          It has to be a nationally-led effort – implemented by the states – as Germany, SK, and Singapore did.

          Trying to pin this on Northam is comical.

          Come on guy… get real… you were opposed to Northam from the get go – long before this happened. no credibility here.

          • Once again, wrong. The Germans let their states lead. The national government did not even try to impose regulations on the testing. They did what the US should have done from the outset – provided optional guidance and let the states build out their own testing capabilities and test whomever they saw fit. When the dust clears what I expect we’ll find is that the states that basically told the CDC to go pound sand got their in-state testing capabilities built out quickly. Other states, like Virginia, which sat back waiting for the feds to bail them out (what’s new in Virginia?) got left behind.

            I gave Northam credit for managing lobby day with the gun rights protesters in Richmond and would have given him credit for a competent COVID-19 reaction. But it wasn’t competent.

          • DJ – the Germans have a National Govt that works with the states but it takes the lead in setting the standards like using the same tests across the country and a centralized reporting system where the results of the tests are collected such that if someone leaves one
            state and goes to another – the information on their status is still available on the same central database.

            It’s the same way that South Korea and Singapore did it. You
            have to have BOTH – a central govt and the states.

            We did not have that – I agree. The Feds never took direct responsibility and left it up to the states so that we have 50 different approaches AND no central database of those who
            have recovered – so we have no way to know who has recovered or not – because there is no uniform system.

  6. Jim,
    Here’s a quote from Dougherty’s piece:

    “So where are these brave defenders of civil liberties when ordinary Americans need them? Where are these great believers in the Constitution now that a virus has caused a stampede of governors to trample on the rights of ordinary citizens, preventing folks from earning a living, traveling, assembling and worshiping?”

    Ripper, I wasn’t aware of Northam’s low ranking in the national ranking. That’s interesting.

    • They’re in Michigan… THANK GOD.

      • naw.. we got them in rural Va also… mark my words… and we’re gonna find out how good that poll was… why.. I bet DJ himself will join that Convoy with posters detailing all those “failures”. Too bad you can’t carpool… he’d have others here join him, I’m sure! 😉

    • If Ralph would have gotten the testing off the ground, at least at the national average, he wouldn’t be an outlier. As it is, it seems like Virginia will get very lucky with COVID-19. Our lack of large, densely populated cities with relatively large areas of low density between the cities we do have may have helped. The fact that our side of the Washington suburbs has a lot of young people may have helped. There’s still a lot about this virus that is yet to be understood. Why did New York get clobbered but Los Angeles and Chicago (relatively) did not?

      Scientists say there is a good chance that this virus will recur later this year. Given that, we’d better take a cold hard look at what worked and what didn’t. We need to learn from as far away as South Korea and as close as North Carolina.

      Next up – the reopening plan. Northam should have one of his top lieutenants in Germany right now seeing what works and what doesn’t as the Germans reopen.

  7. Look, we can restart the economy TOMORROW, and end the shutdown with two very simple pieces of legislation, one repealing Medicare and one repealing the Emergency Treatment Act. That should do it.

    Or, if everyone over 60 would sign a DNR with a “Do Not Transport” clause. Somehow, I’ll bet Louisiana Senator Kennedy would balk at that last.

    • I guess I should short German government bonds since they are reopening and, per your comments, doomed to massive failure. Care to bet whether the Germans bankrupt their healthcare system by reopening their economy?

  8. I live in Hampton Roads. He has a crapload of detractors. I do mean bucket loads. Whoever was polled, sure as crap has no idea of the stats and aren’t middle class business owners, etc. Planned protests are in the works.

  9. JohnRandolph,
    On the song “Convoy,” I am a big fan of the 1970s neo-country music, populist movement led by Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed and others.

    Jim Bacon, I never said that anyone at BR has accused Northam of turning out-of-state cars back at borders. I just said it is “likely” at some point. That’s my opinion and it is just as valid as yours!

    Don the Ripper. It still is a mystery what happened at Canterbury Rehab. Maybe Northam does deserve some blame. Another aspect that has not been explored is that the facility just recently changed ownership. If that proves to be a factor, then we have a clear case of the private sector failing, not just the public sector.

    • re: opinions… yep…. I did not know they were not allowed in the posts – wow!

      re: Canterbury – the history on that place is that it has been in trouble with the regulators for a while – and if not mistaken, it’s Federal regulations.

      It’s NOT a government-operated facility. It’s a private sector facility that normally Conservatives typically rail against regulation as evil and costly – like COPN! Why not leave those nursing homes alone to “compete”?

      • There are thousands of privately operated nursing homes. Why did Cantebury go off the rails? Focus, Larry. Something went very wrong at that particular nursing home. What was it that went wrong? Are there protections at other Virginia nursing homes to prevent a repeat? These are the questions Northam should be addressing.

    • The question about Cantebury is why that facility went into such a deep crisis while thousands of others did not. It was poorly rated before COVID-19 so it was probably among the most vulnerable. But Virginia has not been a hotspot. How did we end up with the biggest problem in the country? Given that the epidemic is ongoing and a recurrence is quite possible I would think the Northam Administration would be very anxious to get to the bottom of what happened at Cantebury so that it doesn’t happen again. This is a time-sensitive issue.

      • Cantebury is an extreme case – I agree but many, many other nursing homes are also infected and there are no easy answers – not seeing anything being done in the other states that also have the problem.

        Nursing homes are regulated by both Federal and State so we really don’t know what actions are ongoing including Northam.

        This focus on Catebury is a pretext for Northams critics. If you ask most folks if Northam is responsible – they would disagree.

        You have been a long-standing critic of Northam for quite some time so I compare than to what others say who have not been critics.

      • DJ – here’s the focus:

        ” A nursing home linked to dozens of coronavirus deaths in the Seattle area faces a fine of more than $600,000 and other sanctions after federal and state inspectors found a range of problems in how the facility handled the outbreak.

        The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a letter on Wednesday to the facility, Life Care Center of Kirkland, that it may be terminated from Medicare and Medicaid participation if it is unable to come into compliance with federal regulations by September. Officials levied a fine of $13,585 per day covering a span of about six weeks.”

        substitute Cantebury for Life Care – and notice there is no mention of the governor…

        give it up guy – if you were a totally objective person – I’d give credence to your views but you’re a long-standing critic with an agenda.

      • It really is quite shocking that a facility in Virginia went into such a deep crisis.

        I mean, it’s obvious that Virginia is full of people who are competent, skilled workers who take pride in a job well done.

        Just look around, it’s obvious.

  10. and this is why these folks in charge doing a blanket stay at home need to pull the bug and head out of their butt and realize that one size does NOT fit all. This is why there is so much discontent. You can’t take something and make an excuse for it. No matter how many polls you take, approving stupid doesn’t mean that something was thought out logically. https://www.governing.com/community/Ohioans-Ordered-Stay-Home-Because-Coronavirus-Without-Internet-Just-Because.html

    • V N – of all the things in a world , isn’t a Pandemic the very definition of one size fits all?

      We all ARE all in the same boat – all but those who have already been infected, can be infected.

      That’s why the social distancing rules are the same – not because of some arbitrary govt fiat – but because that’s the science.

      what would you do for folks with no internet? Seriously.. is there alternatives to social distancing?

      • No it is not. We all don’t have the same age, same comorbidities. Obviously the overwelming majority can recover. Taking precautions is one thing but the destruction of the economy to satisfy power is not it.
        There’s dishes, if no cable.
        Social distancing is one thing but it is taken way too far. I’ve been out a lot, still work, and I do things for others. I’m fine. So obviously saying we all should destroy our lives, livelihood, when we’ve never done that before is ludicrous.

        • we’re not all the same – true – the idea that the “majorith” will recover essentially dooms those that will not – and even those that “recover” can have severe organ damage and lifelong disability.

          “destruction of the economy” means different things to different people and the fact that virtually every single governor agrees on these rules – what does that mean? Are they all wrong?

          Obviously if you are still working – the economy is not really “shut down”. Significant parts of it are – but a larger amount of it is not.

          I just don’t know exactly what folks with your view would do if anyone can get infected. Do you not think the contagion would spread massively throughout the workforce?

          The govt does not really have to dictate this. Many businesses will not re-open until it is safe.

          • We haven’t shut down for the flu, no reason to shut down everything for this. Those who are susceptible take precautions. For way less than one percent of the population, many of whom are nursing homes/rehabs/, the economy is going into a depression for a few hundred million. We’ve less than 200 deaths.
            I’d say the backlash in Wisconsin and what is brewing on social media means people have had enough of this stupidity. You simply don’t have less than 200 deaths and put a population of over 8 million into a dictator/communist state and send the economy into a depression. That is no common sense unless your goal is to do just that.
            “Obviously if you are still working – the economy is not really “shut down”. WHAT? When all you can do is get groceries and stand in line for it, no sit down dinners, no entertainment, no gym, no house parties, it is shut down.
            “Significant parts of it are – but a larger amount of it is not.” Prove that. We are basically going on a grocery store economy with some housing, medical that is still working. There have been wide swaths of layoffs. I know a lawyer firm that is shrunk by over half. Thousands out of work in the medical industry. All the entertainment industry tanked. It is affecting the food supply since millions of chickens are getting dumped, milk is getting dumped. That is going to send food prices way up.
            For 200 deaths here? There are way more abortions than that, no one complains.

          • V N – this is not the “flu” . Not one of the leaders of the USA nor the 50 states believe that.

            If the govt were to “open up” and contagion ran rampant, people dying, the hospitals overflowing, the economy would be even worse off.

            We have 155 million people employed in the US. 17 million are unemployed – most of them in discretionary spending industries like restaurants, sports, cruises, etc.

            I’m not minimizing it – the harm to the economy is grevious but we still do have an economy… damaged as it is.

            The way to get back to work is testing. Many have been saying that all along but it was ignored.

            It’s still true. We have to test – a lot – then we can open up.

          • Larry none of the models/stats can support your allegations of a rampant virus that slaughters millions. No, we don’t have an economy and the longer it goes on the harder it will be and the longer to bring it back. In medicine you don’t test everyone and give them pacemakers because a couple of people get a heart attack. Heart attacks are survivable.
            What kind of BS are you trying to perpetuate when you give everyone that dies that has other comorbidies one label?

          • V N – these are not mine guy.

            This is the US govt and all 50 State govt.

            pacemakers are not pandemics… it’s a good thing
            we have people in charge who do know the difference.

            I SHARE your fear about the economy. But you are dead wrong
            about the virus. It’s not the “flu” nor “heart problems” – it’s a deadly disease that kills people and the ones it does not kill – causes organ damage – lifelong damage to some people.

            Some folks apparently believe that bad stuff will only happen to others so we should open up come heck or high water.

            nope, and that’s not me – it’s virtually every single leader.

          • Frankly LarrytheG your comments on this blog showed me you don’t have a reputation of folks I’d trust.
            There are parellels in the medical world. You don’t test everyone for every disease because a few people have it. You don’t give the same diet to everyone because some people have a disease. That is the stupidity Northam and a bunch of other Govs. are doing. You don’t remove amendment rights away from millions or cause hundreds of thousands of people to lose jobs for 200 dead.
            Why is it you believe all this “news”? Stats: the virus is getting marks in the death column when it is not the sole cause or even the cause. Did you miss those reports or dismiss them because they don’t fit your narrative? How about the 98-99% who survive?
            Why waste millions of dollars testing for a disease that at least that many survive and possibly more? You know why the medical world doesn’t it? Its illogical and wasteful beyond belief.
            Its seemingly ok when it is someone elses’ money isn’t it?

          • You don’t have to trust me V N. Do you trust the POTUS and the 50 state governors?

            Do you trust the epidemiologists who are recommending widespread testing and the Governors AND business supports it?

            The Governors and businesses support what the scientists are recommending.

            It’s not me recommending.. I’m just repeating what science is saying.

            You’re certainly entitled to your view but it’s at odds with most all of the science and the GOvernors of the states.

            I believe the science. I understand the consequences to the economy. There are no good options – we have to take the pain and the way out is to test which is what South Korea, Singapore and Germany have done. We have to detect those that are infected and get them isolated before they infect others. There is no other way.

          • When the science shows that people have died of the virus and not even tested for it but are labelled with it, when you can’t tell you really died of the virus and what comorbidities they died with, when you have a 98-99% chance of surviving, when clusters are in nursing homes, Trump is right. Go back to work. We do the same with the flu. When folks start caring about abortion deaths, domestic violence deaths, elder abuse, let me know. 200 folks where some are clusters, someone doesn’t know how to form a result from the data. Trump I would trust more so than Governors. Along with folks who spout stuff but don’t know a hypothesis from hypotheses – and I had one like that.

          • Sorry V N, I’m with the scientists and the governors. Trump is an asshat who doesn’t know his head from a hole in the ground and proves it every day.

            I trust the scientists – around the world -most all other world leaders and our governors. Trump has changed his mind on this almost every other day. He has opposed testing almost from the get go while the other countries that are having success in opening back up, did so with testing.

            I give him credit for having two scientists stand up and tell the truth even as he would not. Amazes me that he kept them when Trumps supporters were going ape-crap over them.

            I trust the science. The science says get to a testing regime and contact-tracing to re-open. That’s what we need to do.

      • and your last reply is why you have no respect from me and probably a lot of others on this blog. Using personal attacks and profanity. Whether or not I or you like Trump or the Governors is immaterial. If your feelings are uncontrollable and they are, then you will not choose facts over cognitive dissonance. The fact that you think 200 folks is worth millions getting blown out of their lives is even more of an issue. Northam refuses to see it while Virginians are starting to revolt. This is a sign of a bad leader and one who can’t see folks for the trees.

        • up early? 🙂

          If you feel that I have attacked you personally, I do apologize.

          I do support the science when it says this virus is deadly and very
          different from prior “flu” and I do think the way for us to get
          back to work is a comprehensive testing regime including contact
          tracing.

          I hope Northam and Virginia moves ahead with such a plan and since we are not at the national level opening up different states in different phases, perhaps Virginia might consider that for the State.

          The caveat is that people travel and when they do it geographic phasing is problematical in my view because an infected person
          can travel to a place that has “opened up” and cause a new outbreak.

          I can see where different folks are aligning on this issue in a partisan way but I just do not see it as partisan, to me we do have to rely on the science if we are going to make reality-based decisions.

          Finally, I DO respect you as a person and your position and have enjoyed our dialogues even though we do not agree. I do learn from you how folks like you feel and why and because of that, I do see that your line of reasoning is not just you but others, perhaps many others but at least some of it is driven by frustration and fear for the economy and whether I agree with it or not , is not so much the point as the reality that a good number of people do think this way and that is a political reality.

  11. Guys! Please! It is CANTERBURY not CATEBURY

  12. As someone with little confidence in government to get things right, I have no expectation that any elected official will be brilliant throughout this unscripted crisis. Governors are having their moments of glory/humiliation, Trump has opted to make his the face of COVID-19 rather than distancing himself and letting bureaucrats take primary responsibility.
    I predict that history will say Northam both faltered and accelerated and was sometimes right (at least he hasn’t banned boating, as Hogan did). I predict Trump will wish he’d positioned himself as the gracious MC of these press conferences, sweeping his hand in an arc to bring forward Fauci, Birks, epidemiologist of the day.
    Also, Saturday Night Live needs to do a skit w ith the governors’ sign language interpreters who are also having a moment of glory. Some deserve Oscars.

    • re: ” (at least he hasn’t banned boating, as Hogan did). ”

      was it about that time that DJ stopped comparing Hogan to Northam? 😉

      THE one thing one can say about Trump is that he DID bring two scientists to the Press Conferences AND let them speak about the “science”, which has actually caused some consternation with his supporters.

      But those Press Conferences are becoming unseemly spectacles… perhaps
      on purpose, the scientists remain.

      • But proportionately, Trump uses more airtime than others present. I’d advise home to flip that. Northam has made same mistake in some of his press conferences. Sometimes good leadership is deferential. Public is smart enough to follow that dynamic.

  13. I notice that no one is accusing Cuomo of being responsible for the nursing homes that have covid19.

    And no one accused the Gov of Washington of being “incompetent” for that nursing home problem.

    And – no one is accusing Trump of nursing home failures since Medicare and Medicaid are responsible for them also.

  14. johnrandolphofroanoke

    I would like to see a monument placed on state house grounds dedicated to the memory of those vulnerable victims at Canterbury. I believe such a monument would serve as a useful reminder to never forget our seniors, the disabled, and the poor.

  15. I would support a monument to everyone that has lost their life to COVID19.

    Many, many stories especially with the medical professionals who have lost their lives trying to save others.

    Most victims have died alone – they could not have their family with them – that has to be one of the real cruelties of this disease.

    interesting article – that bad old MSM as usual:

    ” In Virginia, 77% of nursing homes recently had infection control problems. Then came the coronavirus.

    Before the novel coronavirus arrived in Virginia, nursing homes throughout the state had already been struggling to follow routine steps designed to stop infections from spreading.

    Over the past three years, government health inspectors cited about 77% of the state’s nursing homes for failing to meet infection prevention and control regulations — and many have been repeat offenders, according to a Virginian-Pilot analysis of federal inspection data.

    The vast majority of such missteps were relatively minor, like staffers not washing hands or wearing masks near contagious patients. But experts said even these types of mistakes are critical to avoid, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in long-term care facilities due to infections.”

    https://www.pilotonline.com/news/health/vp-nw-coronavirus-virginia-infections-nursing-homes-20200416-kzfxyec53bf5noorghqjo5uddi-story.html

  16. “The vast majority of such missteps were relatively minor, like staffers not washing hands or wearing masks near contagious patients.”

    See? Obviously the actions of competent, skilled workers who take pride in a job well done!

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