Source: The Hill

While the federal government continues to find its footing, governors across the nation have stepped up. In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper took decisive, early action to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Tar Heel State.

In early February, Governor Cooper created the Novel Coronavirus Task Force to coordinate efforts in anticipation of a pandemic. By March 10, Cooper declared a state of emergency, and four days later banned mass gatherings of more than 100 and closed public schools. On March 17, he ordered restaurants and bars to move to delivery and take-out options only. By the end of March, Cooper implemented a statewide Stay At Home order and issued an executive order banning public utilities from disconnecting services for those unable to make payments.

North Carolinians have taken notice of Governor Cooper’s leadership. In the latest PPP poll, 69% of respondents think the state’s response to coronavirus has been ‘about right.’ Governor Cooper also enjoys a healthy favorability rating as well. In the same poll, only 42% think the federal government has responded correctly, with a plurality believing the feds have under-reacted.

Mac McCorkle, director of the Center on Political Leadership, Innovation and Service at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University says current polling shows a positive response from the public to Governor Cooper’s actions. “It’s a moving train — we can’t say. But right now — we can only say right now — Governor Cooper’s response looks good in the public,” McCorkle told The Hill.

The Hill article also makes note of the lackluster response from Governor Cooper’s opponent, Lt. Governor Dan Forest. Forest initially criticized Governor Cooper for shutting down restaurant service. Faced with negative backlash from the press and voters, he attempted to walk back the statements with little success.

Read more about how a strong response by Governor Cooper could be decisive in the fall from The Hill.