April 7, 2020/Press

New Digital Ad Spotlights Tillis’ Past Comments on Public Health Regulations

The North Carolina Democratic Party today released a new digital ad highlighting Senator Tillis’ past comments objecting to public health regulations that require restaurant employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom. The ad is part of a statewide digital buy targeting independent voters.

“I don’t have any problem… if they choose to opt out of this policy, as long as they post a sign that says, ‘We don’t require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom,’” Tillis said in 2015. “The market will take care of that.”


Tillis’ comments were thrust into the spotlight after recent polling released last week found that 76% of voters, including 77% of independents and 66% of Republicans, said Tillis’ comments give them “very serious” concerns about him. His comments contradict what nearly every public health expert — from the World Health Organization to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — has advised to reduce the spread of infectious disease.

In addition to his questionable beliefs about public health regulations, Senator Tillis has a long record of undermining prevention efforts. In 2017, Tillis voted to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which accounts for 12 percent of the CDC’s budget, even as public health officials raised alarms that doing so would “cripple officials’ ability to detect, prevent and respond to health threats including pandemic flu.

He has also championed policies that would limit access to affordable health care. As Speaker, Senator Tillis blocked the state from expanding Medicaid to its most vulnerable residents, bragging just last year, “I am the Speaker of the House who signed the bill that made it illegal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.” And he supports a dangerous Republican lawsuit that would end the Affordable Care Act and with it vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which Republicans confirmed they are “plowing ahead” with even amid the public health outbreak.

Read more about Tillis’ questionable beliefs on public health laws: