RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Republican State Senator Steve Newman took to Facebook recently to blast those reporting dangerous violations of the Commonwealth's mask and social distancing orders, calling them "the snitch police." To Newman, a page on the Virginia Department of Health's website that allows people to report potentially dangerous practices at local businesses was "a serious power-move by [our] government."
The complaint form has seen hundreds of reports in recent days, as those rightly concerned about the spread of COVID-19 have reported businesses where employees are not adhering to guidelines and forgoing masks and gloves. The high volume of reports suggests a forum for Virginians to voice complaints is a much-needed component of the Commonwealth's strategy to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
But Newman, like many other Republicans across the Commonwealth, would rather play politics than work to keep his constituents safe. Recently Republicans throughout Virginia have attacked common sense measures to stop the spread of the virus. Daniel Gade, the GOP's nominee for Senate, compared the mask requirement to outright tyranny. State Senator Amanda Chase has led rallies against new rules to keep Virginians safe during the pandemic.
"Our Commonwealth is avoiding the outbreaks other states are facing because unlike Steve Newman, most Virginians are actually concerned about their health and are taking proper precautions. As an elected representative, Senator Newman should know better than to undermine the Department of Health and attempt to convince his constituents that trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus in their community is somehow wrong," said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox.