July 23, 2020/Press

Where Was Tillis? Six Months (!) After First Briefing, Tillis Releases a “Plan” to Fight COVID

In a head-scratching move, Senator Tillis today released a “plan” to “protect the health and well-being of North Carolinians” and fight COVID-19… nearly six months to the day since he first received a briefing on the looming pandemic.

Senator Tillis first received a briefing on the coronavirus on January 24, three days after the first U.S. COVID-19 case was confirmed. Six months later, he’s now realizing we need to fight the virus.

Better late than never, I guess?

Except Tillis’ plan has some pretty big omissions — the plan “does not mention aid for state/local governments (outside of education) or unemployment benefits,” two things North Carolinians and local leaders have been pleading for for months.

And the timing raises some serious questions, chief among them, why did Tillis wait six months to release a plan combatting the coronavirus? 

Tillis’ own campaign previously admitted in a “complete response timeline” that he let an entire month pass before he took any public action in response to the virus. Instead of addressing coronavirus that month, he was doing critical work introducing a meaningless Senate resolution, appearing at Trump eventsrenaming a Post Office, and confirming a judge known for defending voter suppression.

It appears that Tillis finally realized just pretending the coronavirus doesn’t exist isn’t going to cut it…

“Where has Thom Tillis been the past six months?,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “In January, he received a briefing on the coronavirus threat, yet now in late July he’s just now releasing a plan to fight the pandemic? Senator Tillis wasted critical months, and after trying to simply wish it away, he’s just now realizing six months later — and nearly two million jobless claims and over 100,000 infected — that we need to fight this threat.”