RALEIGH — On the eve of the third Reopen NC protest, organizers with the group released a press statement containing stories from those being negatively impacted by Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order.
“As our ranks grow to more than 65,000, the stories shared by those affected by this shutdown grow as well,” Ashley Smith, Co-founder Reopen NC said in a statement. “This shutdown has to stop and stop now Gov. Cooper.”
Smith’s press release included a small sample of the dozens of emails Reopen NC has received weekly from North Carolinians whose lives have been “turned upside-down.”
“My chemotherapy was delayed from April 15th to the 30th after 2 out of 6 treatments and could possibly be delayed again now,” said Janell Henry of Concord. “Chemotherapy is horrible but cancer is worse and I need it. I was tolerating it well and so this delay was unnecessary. What the governor is doing is irresponsible.”
“My mom owns Helen’s Restaurant in Bakersville. She has been closed for almost five weeks due to the shutdown,” said Laura Hyder, daughter of the restaurant owner. “ Her bills are piling up due to no revenue coming in. She had to furlough over 20 employees. She applied for the SBA business loan but has heard nothing. If she doesn’t open now she will lose everything she has worked so hard for. We need NC opened NOW!”
“These are just a few of the dozens of stories like this,” said Smith. “Each story is a story of pain and suffering due to the loss of economic means, people’s inability to receive much-needed medical care and surgeries and, business losses. What will it take for Governor Cooper and our elected officials to hear this message?”
“Everyone in office, both Democrat and Republicans alike, have been in office for multiple terms, some for as many as nine terms. Maybe it’s time for a change of leadership in November unless they step up. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue,” Smith stated, “This is an electorate issue; those of us suffering and not being represented, and that has to change.”
Smith said that “No reliable data from trusted experts support Cooper’s decision or plan, if what he has proposed can even be called a plan.” She went on to ask in the release whether or not the governor was trying to bankrupt the citizenry with his plan.
“As bordering states like Georgia and South Carolina and then Texas and other western states reopen or continue without stay-at-home orders, why can’t we?” Smith asked, adding that “If Cooper is waiting for a ‘zero infection rate’ as he has stated, this state will die waiting.”
“If we can shop at a crowded Lowe’s or Harris Teeter, buy liquor at the ABC, visit a Planned Parenthood office for an abortion but not go to church or get a haircut or, get much-needed surgery, then what exactly is the science he is relying on? We need to know,” said Smith.