Political leaders in the Charlotte area slammed the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with frontline workers and first responders in the Queen City on Thursday:
“The Coronavirus has killed enough Americans to fill Bank of America Stadium and the Spectrum Center. COVID-19 isn’t a partisan issue: it’s a life and death issue. Right now, Charlotte doesn’t need a photo opp — we need protective equipment and protections for workers, both of which the Trump administration has so far largely failed to provide to us. If Secretary Azar wants to make a meaningful contribution to help North Carolina contain this virus, he’ll push the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and protect our heroes on the front line.”— U.S. Representative Alma Adams (D-12)
“North Carolina’s first responders are putting themselves in jeopardy to help stop the spread of this virus, and even today they still don’t have sufficient protective gear to keep themselves safe. Instead of leaving our state to fend for itself, the Trump administration needs to finally step up and help us contain the spread, especially as we continue to ease restrictions in North Carolina. Our business owners, workers and first responders in the Charlotte community are depending on it.”
— State Senator Natasha Marcus (D-37)
“The Trump administration’s response to this crisis has been an abject failure. Their slow, fumbled response has endangered our health workers and grinded our economy to a halt. I hope Secretary Azar will take the pleas of our first responders back to Washington and push for more protections and testing. If not, this visit is nothing more than a publicity stunt.”
— State Senator Mujtaba A. Mohammed (D-38)
On Wednesday, confirmed cases in North Carolina topped 20,000 across all 100 of the state’s counties, while the death toll stands at more than 700. The state has struggled to obtain sufficient PPE for frontline workers for months after receiving just a fraction of its request from the federal stockpile.
In a separate statement on Wednesday, NCDP Chairman Wayne Goodwin called on the administration to take more substantive actions to support first responders in North Carolina. “During his visit to Charlotte I hope that instead of just posing for photos, Secretary Azar will recognize these needs and work to secure more tests and equipment for North Carolina’s heroes,” Goodwin said.