Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) on Tuesday ripped the “selfish” protesters who are defying stay-at-home and physical distancing orders, saying they are putting frontline healthcare workers in danger.
“What they’re doing at the end of the day—which I think is so selfish—they’re putting our healthcare providers, those that are in the trenches trying to save lives every day, they’re putting them at risk, and that’s wrong. I would ask them to think about that,” Northam said on MSNBC.
The Virginia governor said he is also a small-business owner and is just “as anxious as anybody else” to open up the economy before saying he does not need protesters to encourage him or anybody else to ease the restrictions.
Northam said he respects the First Amendment rights of Virginians but the state needs to open up “safely” to put the health of Virginians first.
Northam added that he feels Virginia is fighting a “biological war without the supplies” and said the “mixed messages” coming from President Donald Trump and his administration in Washington were “counterproductive.”
Virginians largely approve of how Northam is dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
A poll conducted by The Center for Public Policy at VCU’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs found last week that 76% approved of how Northam was dealing with the coronavirus crisis. The center’s April Commonwealth Poll released on Tuesday found that Northam has a 66% approval rating.