Lt. Gov. Dan Forest Questions Validity of Governor’s Restaurant Ban, After Council of State REJECTED Proposal

RALEIGH – The state executive agencies are taking unprecedented actions in response to the Wuhan virus. Many of those actions, though, may run afoul of our core liberties. Governor Roy Cooper announced Tuesday the mandatory closing of all bars and restaurants in the state, but “allowing” take out and delivery service. While precautions to slow the spread of the virus are certainly warranted, is shutting down businesses a valid move?

Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest isn’t so sure, according to a statement Forest released after the governor issued his decree:

“Earlier today Governor Cooper announced, via a press release, that all North Carolina restaurants and bars must close in-restaurant seating by 5pm this evening. His mandate will devastate our economy, shutter many small businesses, and leave many people unemployed, especially in the rural areas of our state where food supply is already critical.

After the press release, and shortly before a scheduled press conference, I, along with other Council of State members, was asked to concur with the Governor’s decision with no discussion. The Governor held his press conference and made the announcement even after a majority of the Council of State voted not to concur with the Governor. Thus, he does not have the authority to issue this part of his executive order.

While I understand that all actions in a time of crisis are very difficult decisions and have many consequences, some decisions are so serious they require, by law, discussion with, and approval of, other state leaders.”

The citizens of North Carolina (and around the country) now face multiple threats in real time, and some are already being realized. The obvious threat is the rapid proliferation of this Wuhan virus, which is still an unknown factor; the second is the economic fallout as a result of government ordered closures and restrictions; and, the third is a Wuhan virus inspired threat to our core liberties that our government was literally founded for the purpose of securing.

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