Ahead of midterms, some Democrats seek new virus message

Some Democratic officials say they are ready to defend their actions, noting that by closing businesses and schools they have slowed the ...


Some Democratic officials say they are ready to defend their actions, noting that by closing businesses and schools they have slowed the spread of the coronavirus and saved lives. But the Republican candidates have promised to place closures at the center of school board races at governor to the Senate.

“They will pay the price in the next election,” said Lou Barletta, a Republican gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania who blames Democrats, rather than the virus, for business damage and learning loss. “No one will forget the businesses that couldn’t reopen or the people who lost their jobs. It does not erase from memory. Not to mention that a year of education was stolen from our children.

In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s upset victory in November as a Republican was fueled in part by parents who are fed up with school closures and mask mandates for their children. Across the country, the long-term school closures, which have occurred disproportionately in Democratic-led states and cities, have put off even some progressive voters.

Kim McGair, a lawyer and normally staunch Democrat in Portland, Oregon, said she felt “completely betrayed” by her party, which she said had failed parents and students. “I will not vote for a Democrat who was silent or complicit in school closings, which is the vast majority of them here,” Ms McGair said. But she also can’t imagine herself voting for a Republican, a situation she describes as “politically homeless.”

In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, imposed some of the strictest stay-at-home orders in the country at the start of the pandemic. Angry protesters who waved Tea Party flags at the State Capitol in April 2020, while former President Donald J. Trump tweeted “Free Michigan,” were one of the first signs of the politicization of the pandemic. .

Ms Whitmer, facing a deadly new wave of the virus in her state and an uphill fight for re-election this fall, was recently pressed to find out why she hadn’t issued new statewide orders. His response was defensive, but saying, “Like what?” she told a Detroit TV interviewer. The existence of vaccines meant the “blunt tools” used in 2020 to fight the pandemic were unnecessary, the governor said.

While sweeping shutdowns and mandates are off the table in many places — sometimes because of court rulings — Democrats have used other tools lately, including aggressively promoting vaccines, opening testing centers and the deployment of strike teams in besieged hospitals.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Ahead of midterms, some Democrats seek new virus message
Ahead of midterms, some Democrats seek new virus message
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