It has now been four weeks since Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are now in the days when we will see how well social-distancing has done to limit the number of person to person spread of a disease that is still new to the medical community. This April 9 installment of the program mostly features comments from Governor Northam’s press briefing from yesterday. Northam and Virginia Health Commissioner Norm Oliver acknowledged that African Americans are being hit harder disproportionately. That's one area where the need for transparency is so crucial. We also hear a little about how Loudoun County is interpreting Attorney General Herring's opinion about local government activities during the pandemic. But we also take a look at how Loudoun County is moving forward with land use decisions.
"It is incumbent on both the government and the private sector to be transparent and to be proactive if we’re going to get on top of this and we’re going to be able to get out of this and get back to normal." - Clark Mercer, Governor Northam's Chief of Staff, April 8, 2020
“In a pandemic such as this it is critical that everyone has much information as possible from the decision-makers to the public." - Governor Ralph Northam, April 8, 2020.
“We are seeing racial disparities in COVID cases in places like New Orleans and New York. We must be able to measure this here in Virginia. We know that long-standing racial inequities and things like access to health care, education and economic opportunities lead to differences in underlying health conditions. The existence of such inequities is one reason why communities of color including African American people are more likely to have some of the underlying health conditions that put them at a greater risk with COVID-19.” - Governor Ralph Northam, April 8, 2020.