North Carolina Coop’d Up Again

Small business owners in the gym and fitness industry were kicked in the teeth again as Governor Cooper failed to reopen their facilities in an announcement yesterday afternoon.  

They were struck down yet another time later in the day when the NC House was unable to muster enough votes to override Governor Cooper’s veto of a legislative bill that would have forced the opening of fitness facilities, bypassing the Governor’s order.  The vote was 66-53 against the veto, but did not reach the three-fifths of votes necessary to override.

The combination of the failed veto override vote and Governor Cooper’s action was a double blow for these small business owners – many who were in Raleigh for the veto override vote at the General Assembly and saw government at work firsthand. Fitness owners were hopeful since they have worked hard to make their facilities safe and have made their plans known on how they planned to protect their customers, just like restaurants and other facilities that serve the public.

By extending his executive order to July 17 to keep bars and gyms closed, and to not open other facilities that had hoped to be open by now, like museums and playgrounds, Cooper is under fire for holding these businesses and institutions hostage while many other industries have been freed to go back into business. The core of most of the frustration seems to be the inequity of the Governor’s decisions. The economic collapse, especially in the service industries of North Carolina, resulting in workers and their families suffering for weeks, seems not to matter.

In his order yesterday, the governor also ordered a statewide mandate that masks or face coverings would be mandatory in public.

Cooper continues to use data measurements as his reason for not opening more businesses. State legislators, noticing that surrounding states have opened up their gyms and bars, with South Carolina already open, and Virginia’s next reopening phase beginning July 1, commented strongly.

“Every one of those neighboring states is saying they’re following science, too,” said [Senate Leader Phil Berger]. “The science the governor is following is political science.”

Ouch.

So once again — Cooper announces edict. Economic calamity continues for many in our state.  Families without jobs suffer. Businesses lose hope. And thoughtful people wonder if there isn’t a better way that didn’t appear to be such a politically-motivated decision by a calculating politician.

Editorial note: The title for this seemed to fit. The phrase is not original here. Pretty sure it came from another frustrated soul out there in blog or Facebook land.