The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying economic crisis test the resolve of our nation, state, communities, and families. We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who’ve heroically responded in defense of our health and welfare. Their wonderful civic responsibility is the asphalt with which we build the road forward as we recover.
Our leaders and front-line responders have inspired us all. The spectrum of impact to Granite Staters ranges from inconvenient to life-altering but Americans have again shown that in hard times we pull together and rise to the challenge.
I support Governor Sununu’s phased plan to reopen New Hampshire. As someone who has made many life and death decisions during my life journey, I understand that effective leadership involves burdens and dealing with the relentless pressure of conflicting and passionate perspectives.
As we reopen New Hampshire we must protect lives,livelihoods, AND our constitutional rights. The governor has done well in utilizing data as well as expert advice as he leads our recovery.
As I travel around the state as a candidate for U.S. Senate, I’m often asked how I’d approach the reopening issue. I offer the following thoughts not as a critique but as suggestions based on foundational benchmarks. As an office seeker, I understand that my opinions invite scrutiny and maybe even skepticism, but that’s okay. Independent thought is the New Hampshire way!
1. Any plan to reopen the State should allow communities the flexibility to self-govern. The key to striking balance between risk and reward is best determined by those who actually live with the decisions. The more we rely on distant government influence, the more we’ll suffer from “analysis paralysis.” I don’t believe that those in Concord or Washington can always best determine what’s best for West Stewartstown more effectively than those who actually LIVE in West Stewartstown.
2. Simplicity is key. Drawing from my own many crisis response experiences—and an evolving understanding of the current risks—I believe any plan should be framed by our rights and our public safety interests.
*Protecting our most vulnerable citizens
*Local control enhanced by state resources and data
*Allowing consumers to determine whether to patronize a business rather than implement one-size-fits-all mandates
*Maintaining robust public service announcements to raise awareness on mitigation measures
*Tracking data changes to trigger policy adjustments in coordination with local and state officials
*Respecting our precious constitutional rights
*Supporting legislation and executive orders that are targeted and temporary while avoiding unnecessary pork spending or threats to our civil liberties
Lastly, I want to emphasize my gratitude and admiration to all those who’ve worked so hard throughout this unprecedented crisis—not only those we see in public but also to all the families quietly dealing with many uncertainties and unique and profound challenges as we recover. My prayers and sincere condolences especially go out from my family to all those who who are impacted by this crisis.
We WILL prevail!