Republicans urge Cooper to end emergency order

Published 8:44 pm Monday, March 7, 2022

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Rep. Keith Kidwell and the rest of the N.C. House Republican Caucus on Monday sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to end the state of emergency he declared two years ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday is the two-year anniversary of Cooper’s emergency order.

“After two years of executive orders that shut down businesses, restricted gatherings, closed schools, and mandated masks, the people of North Carolina are more than ready to move on,” the letter reads in part. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced it is dropping universal indoor mask recommendations, and school districts and local governments across our state are ending their mask mandates.

“Furthermore,” the letter continues, “new cases have plummeted in the past month — from a 7-day average of approximately 22,000 a month ago to approximately 3,000. Hospitalizations are down from 5,089 a month ago to 1,618. As these key metrics continue to fall and vaccines remain readily available to those who want one, there is no justification for a continued state of emergency.”

Cooper was asked about the state of emergency in a Feb. 17 press conference.

“That is still in place. We are continuing to evaluate it,” Cooper said at the time. “It is providing much-needed flexibilities to our hospitals and medical providers. It’s also helping us get vaccines to people in a faster, more effective way. We may talk with the legislature about putting some things into law permanently.”

“Simply put, there is no emergency,” the letter from the Republican Caucus reads. “Yet, there is still no plan or exit strategy set forth by your Administration outlining how and when the nearly two-year state of emergency can be lifted. The people of North Carolina should not have to live under the continued threat and uncertainty of new emergency executive actions and restrictions that have severely impacted and limited their lives for the past two years.”