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ENC lawmakers send letter to Governor about ongoing State of Emergency

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:13 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) -Two eastern Carolina lawmakers are seeking answers from Governor Roy Cooper about what it will take to end the State of Emergency enacted last year due to COVID-19.

House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) and House Deputy Majority Whip Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort) sent Governor Cooper a letter Tuesday calling on him to provide specific details on what “metrics and data” need to be met for his nearly fifteen months long state of emergency to come to an end.

“North Carolina has now been under a self-declared state of emergency for over 450 days,” the letter states. “In response to a question about ending your emergency order during a June 2nd press conference, you said, ‘We are still in the middle of this pandemic’ and ‘The State of Emergency needs to continue.’ We believe this is unsatisfactory.”

The letter continues, “There seems to be no urgency or plan to end the state of emergency. We believe this is unsatisfactory. The people of North Carolina have worked extremely hard to follow and adhere to social distancing guidelines and restrictions. They deserve more information and transparency in this process.”

The lawmakers say the goal of their letter is to at least get “specific details on how and when the state of emergency can be lifted.”

You can read the full letter here:

Dear Governor Cooper,

We are seeking additional information on your continued statewide state of emergency declaration and the specific metrics and data that will need to be met for it to come to an end.

North Carolina has now been under a self-declared state of emergency for over 450 days.

In response to a question about ending your emergency order during a June 2nd press conference, you said, “We are still in the middle of this pandemic” and “The State of Emergency needs to continue.”

This is deeply concerning. Vaccinations are widely available, cases are at new lows, and capacity restrictions have been completely lifted. Yet, we are in the “middle of this pandemic?” There seems to be no urgency or plan to end the state of emergency. We believe this is unsatisfactory.

Across the country, Governors are ending their state of emergencies, including the South Carolina Governor who just this week allowed its order to expire. Furthermore, the Virginia Governor recently said that he will not extend its declaration when it expires June 30th.

The people of North Carolina have worked extremely hard to follow and adhere to social distancing guidelines and restrictions. They deserve more information and transparency in this process.

We respectfully ask that you provide the legislature and the citizens of this great state with the specific details on how and when the state of emergency can be lifted.

Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Rep. John R. Bell, IV

House Majority Leader

Rep. Keith Kidwell

House Deputy Majority Whip

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