U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham on Monday called on Governor Henry McMaster to change his COVID-19 strategy. Citing an increase in cases, positivity rates, deaths, and hospitalizations, Cunningham called for McMaster to change strategies and come up with a new plan to bend the curve of the virus.
“What we are doing clearly isn’t working, and choosing to maintain the same flawed plan will only result in more cases, more loss of life and more businesses being forced to close their doors," said Rep. Cunningham. "It’s time for the Governor to hit the reset button, take the advice of public health experts and come up with a new strategy that slows the spread and shows the people of South Carolina that their leaders are doing everything possible to save lives.”
Cunningham also repeated his call for McMaster to issue a statewide mask requirement.
“The experts agree that if everyone wears masks for the next several weeks, we can dramatically bring our numbers down,” Cunningham said. “We owe it to the citizens of South Carolina to take this common sense public safety measure that so many other states have taken to bend the curve of this virus.”
In addition, Cunningham reissued his call for the governor to request federal support for testing assistance.
“DHEC is doing everything they can to conduct widespread testing but they do not have the capacity to do what’s necessary at this point in time," Cunningham said. "I’ve called on Governor McMaster to heed the call of State Senator Tom Davis and request federal support to increase testing and speed up the amount of time it takes to get results. We are anxiously awaiting his decision.”
Timeline of events:
March 30th: Joe Cunningham calls for McMaster to issue a statewide stay-at-home order. (New cases on 3/30: 151)
April 6th: Gov. McMaster issues mandatory work-or-home order. (New cases on 4/6: 183)
June 24th: Rep. Cunningham calls for a statewide mask ordinance (New cases on 6/24: 1,305)
June 26th: Gov. McMaster says he has refuses to issue a statewide mask ordinance (New cases on 6/26: 1,263)
June 27th: Rep. Cunningham again calls for statewide mask ordinance (New cases on 6/27: 1,604)
July 15th: Gov. McMaster again refuses to issue a statewide mask ordinance (New cases on 7/15: 1,817)
July 17th: Rep. Cunningham urges Gov. McMaster to seek federal assistance to expand COVID-19 testing in the Lowcountry. (New cases on 7/17: 1,964)
July 19th: South Carolina sets daily record with 2,335 COVID-19 cases.