April 23, 2020 News & Press Releases

Two GOP State Senators Try To Score Political Points By Undermining Public Health Order

by Democratic Party of Virginia

RICHMOND, VA — Senators Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, and Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, are just the latest Republican lawmakers trying to undermine public safety by questioning the Governor’s executive orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The two state senators are representing Gold’s Gym in a lawsuit to challenge Governor Northam’s executive order temporarily closing non-essential businesses and limiting any gatherings to 10 people or fewer. 

McDougle and Stanley are pursuing this suit despite overwhelming evidence from public health experts that such orders save innumerable lives and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed by a surge in COVID-19 cases.

These senators are continuing a worrying national trend of GOP lawmakers undermining stay-at-home orders and non-essential business closures. Now they’re escalating that dangerous rhetoric by taking legal action to stop these protective measures. 

“Stunts like these are just ill-fated attempts to score cheap political points during a major public health crisis. In Bill Stanley's case, he may think these efforts will bolster his run for Governor, but voters will not fondly remember his enthusiasm to put their communities at risk,” said DPVA Press Secretary Carson Brown.

Recent polling also shows social distancing measures are hugely popular with the American public. In a new CBS News poll, 70 percent of respondents said “try[ing] to slow the spread of coronavirus by keeping people home and social distancing, even if the economy is hurt in the short term” should be the country’s top priority, and a recent Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found 72 percent of adults in the United States said people should stay at home “until the doctors and public health officials say it is safe.”