News

Dan Forest Dangerously Downplays Pandemic, Shows He’s Not Fit to Lead


May 22, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 22, 2020
CONTACT: Liz Doherty

Dan Forest Dangerously Downplays Pandemic, Shows He’s Not Fit to Lead

“While he has criticized Cooper’s decisions at times, Forest is less clear on exactly what he would have done instead, or what he would do [as governor]”

In Case You Missed It… A new story from The Atlantic heavily quotes GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Forest and, in doing so, paints a picture of a leader who is wholly unprepared for leading the state during this time of crisis.

According to the story, Forest told Atlantic reporter Russell Berman, “I think everything should be open.” Though, the story notes, Forest also “appears to be in the minority on reopening.

Forest has also aligned himself with fringe group ReOpen NC to urge Governor Cooper to lift restrictions and joined a conference call to offer his advice and support. Prior to her arrest at a recent rally where protesters harassed police and health care workers, ReOpen NC organizer Ashley Smith told press that she has been “taking guidance from” Forest.

What is arguably most concerning is Forest’s view of the debate over reopening as hypothetical, while, as the story accurately notes, it is “anything but”:

The debate over reopening is anything but hypothetical, even in an election that’s more than five months away. A second wave of infections could crest this fall or even next year, when a Governor Forest—if he wins—would be in charge. And while he has criticized Cooper’s decisions at times, Forest is less clear on exactly what he would have done instead, or what he would do if there’s another outbreak next year.

[…]

But when I asked whether Forest, if he were governor next year, would be willing to shut down the state if his health advisers recommended another “shelter-in-place” order, he was less firm. “That’s like having a crystal ball,” he replied. “I would say right now, all things considered and all things held equal and maintained going forward, with another round, I would say you’d come forward with recommendations like ‘Work from home if you can.’”

Instead of putting the health and safety of North Carolinians first, Forest irresponsibly proclaims things like, “I don’t care about getting a virus.” With his own misguided and reckless words, Forest demonstrates he is far too dangerous for North Carolina.

READ: The Atlantic, “How the Pandemic Silenced the Nation’s Biggest Governor’s Race,” By Russell Berman, May 22, 2020.

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