Source: Asheville Citizen-Times

Leaders spanning both sides of the aisle politically and all over the state, have voiced support for the decisive actions taken by Governor Roy Cooper to combat the spread of coronavirus in North Carolina.

On March 27, Cooper signed an executive order that closed nonessential business activity in the state at least until April 29. Republican Senator Thom Tillis, up for reelection this November, issued a press release on the heels of Cooper’s executive order that praised the governor’s action: “[T]he governor made the difficult, but correct decision to issue  a statewide stay-at-home order,” Tillis’ statement read.

The business-friendly North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, traditionally a stalwart ally of Republicans, also issued a press release aligning themselves with Cooper’s stay-at-home order. “I have tremendous confidence in the steady hands steering our state’s COVID-19 response,” NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido said in the statement. “Governor Cooper and his team, including N.C. Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry, N.C. DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen, and State Health Director Dr. Betsy Tilson, and their colleagues, have shown tremendous leadership.”

Some Republican leaders have dissented, but they have not managed to present a unified front. 

Republican Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, who will face Cooper in November, came out against Cooper’s early orders that sought to slow the spread. On March 17, Cooper ordered restaurants to close dine-in services and move to takeout and delivery only. Forest criticized Cooper in a press release, saying, “His mandate will devastate our economy, shutter many small businesses and leave many people unemployed, especially in the rural areas of our state where food supply is already critical.” 

But public health officials across the nation have voiced support for similar measures. Republican Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio has been among the most aggressive with regard to coronavirus. Officials in Ohio enacted a stay-at-home order beginning on March 23, according to WDTN. Associate Chief Medical Officer of Miami Valley Hospital, Dr. Roberto Colon, told WDTN that the stay-at-home order slows the spread of coronavirus, and that “[the stay-at-home order] is a great step to try to do that and reinforce that message.”

Even while some prominent Republicans disagree with Cooper’s executive order to stay-at-home, a number of rank and file GOP legislators support the governor. Senator Chuck Edwards, a Henderson County Republican, told the Asheville Citizen-Times, “I have contended throughout this crisis that this is a critical time for us to put our trust in the officials we have elected whether we agree with them or not.”

Read the full story on support for Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order from the Asheville Citizen-Times.