Saturday, March 28, 2020

As big surge in covid-19 cases begins, along with warm weather, Beshear warns gatherings will kill Kentuckians; vows enforcement

Gov. Andy Beshear spoke in his daily press conference as information sources were displayed.
By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News

As he reported a big surge in daily cases of the covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, and reports of gatherings that could spread it, Gov. Andy Beshear gave perhaps his most extended oration about the need for Kentuckians to restrict their activities to keep the virus from spreading.

"I know the personal emotions that this coronavirus is causing. It makes us anxious, afraid, uncertain, sad and isolated; but I hope you know that I think right now we are more connected than ever, even if we have to be physically apart," Beshear said near the start of his daily press conference.

"Our safety depends on us caring about each other, more now than ever before in my lifetime," he said. "It requires us being a commonwealth for the common good, putting the health of our people above our self-interests. In fact, it is a calling for us to hear, and a clear truth for us to believe, that our individual actions as we move through this impact the safety and the health of others."

Then Beshear alluded to politics, a subject he has tried to avoid in his public comments during the crisis.

"You know, when I was elected last November, I felt we were as fractured and as separated of a commonwealth and as a country as I have ever seen, and I believe now we are more united than I have ever seen, and I believe now that we are more united than I have ever seen," he said.

He added later, "Every single one of us have to live up to our duty as a member of the commonwealth and as a patriotic American, to protect those around us; more than ever we are connected to each other; our actions matter."

Noting a gathering of hundreds of young people in Louisville Friday night, and funerals open to more than immediate families, he said, "If hundreds of people come together, several people are going to die because of it; that is what we are facing. We’re getting reports of funerals that are not limiting the number of people. That loved one that’s passed on would not want their funeral to be a reason that someone else has passed on."

Beshear has issued an emergency order banning "all mass gatherings," but violations of that appear to have increased with warm weather. "There are going to be people out there asking you to break up if you are in these groups," he said. "If you come together in a large group, probably multiple people are going to die because of it."

The state reported 92 more cases of covid-19 Saturday, by far the largest in any one day. The previous high, 54, was the day before. "We are seeing at least the start of our surge, and we know know more than ever that we have to engage in social distancing and we have to do our duty as a Kentuckian and an American. Those things that divided us three months ago don’t matter."

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