CHEYENNE — During his press conference Thursday, Governor Mark Gordon addressed the politicization of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic but remained firm in that he believes it is a serious threat.
Coming right off a trip to Washington D.C. to support Senator John Barrasso’s effort to modernize the federal Endangered Species Act, Governor Gordon said he would not want to be anywhere else but Wyoming amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added that Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had issued mandatory quarantine orders for people coming from a number of states.
“When you look at that, it is virtually every Republican state. It does include places like South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming. Oddly enough, it doesn’t include California, or Oregon, or Washington or New York, all states that have higher population counts than we do of COVID, and per capita counts,” Governor Gordon said.
He said he was left wondering what the intentions of the quarantine mandates were.
“I was wondering if the virus that the mayor was worried about was whether they were going to catch Republicanism and fiscal responsibility, or if they were going to really be talking about the virus,” Governor Gordon said.
However, he said this does not mean the virus itself is not serious, despite the politicization of it.
“It’s certainly providing an interesting tool for politics, this virus, but I don’t want to minimize the fact that it is a real threat, and it is serious,” Governor Gordon said.
He pointed to several deaths of otherwise healthy individuals as proof of this. There has been a lot of discussion over whether the Coronavirus-related deaths are really due to some other cause, which Gordon said is not happening in Wyoming.
“That is not what we’re doing here in Wyoming. We are being very accurate,” he said.
Governor Gordon said Wyoming has been transparent in reporting COVID-19 deaths, and even separated out deaths of elderly Wyoming residents in out-of-state longterm care facilities who contracted the virus outside of Wyoming.
Addressing Herd Immunity
Despite Wyoming hitting record highs for active cases this week, Wyoming is still doing much better than many other states.
“Wyoming is the fourth least restricted state, according to restaurant and lodging, we have the second lowest per capita death rate, we have a declining unemployment curve,” Governor Gordon said.
Although he understands wearing face coverings is “annoying”, he believes it is necessary to keep on the right track. Gordon pointed out that the goal is to minimize deaths.
“I’m a cattle man, and I know that herd immunity also means that I’ve got have an acceptable death loss, and I’m not sure what the acceptable death loss is,” he said.