- States like New York and Louisiana were hardest-hit by COVID-19, and their governors have been applauded and criticized.
- Ohio’s infection rate ranked 27 out of the 50, and Governor Mike DeWine has been receiving some of the credit for this.
- Andrew Cuomo has been hailed for his “informative and emotive press conferences,” which have made him a national political star.
The United States has become a divided nation, and the lines are more unclear now than ever before. You have Republicans and Democrats of course, but these can be broken down into right-wing, left-wing, socialism-leaning, and so forth. The coronavirus has split things up even further with governors choosing to respond in ways they see fit, whether or not state residents and the Trump Administration agree or not.
States like New York and Louisiana were hardest-hit by COVID-19, and their governors have been applauded and criticized. The public and the media have let their opinions be heard about which of the 50 governors have handed the crisis best.
Mike DeWine, Ohio (Republican)
Ohio’s infection rate ranked 27 out of the 50, and Governor Mike DeWine has been receiving some of the credit for this. The state had not yet had a major COVID-19 outbreak by March 12, but DeWine called all state public schools to close. He was the first U.S. governor to do so, and also led the decision to delay primary elections. Described as “calm, sober and data-driven, 73-year old DeWine has not been afraid to challenge the Trump Administration, including when he criticized the possibility of reopening the state’s economy by Easter of 2020.
Jay Inslee, Washington (Democrat)
When Jay Inslee saw data back in early March that advocated for severe social distancing, he immediately took action, banning large gatherings and alerting residents that more stringent measures were coming. Washington State’s coronavirus curve is flatter than the other states in the country that have 50 or more fatalities.
Gavin Newsom, California (Democrat)
Governor Newsom garnered attention after he procured 200m medical-grade masks per month for the State of California. He also put into place one of the strictest and earliest stay-at-home orders on March 19. California seems to have flattened the curve, and Newsom has won praise from Trump for his response to the pandemic.
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan (Democrat)
On March 10, Governor Whitmer declared an early state of emergency and has been regularly appearing on news networks. She has also not been shy about criticizing other governors’ responses during the crisis. Even though there were many anti-lockdown protests in Michigan, Whitmer stood her ground and extended the order until May 28.
Larry Hogan, Maryland (Republican)
As chairman of the National Governors Association, Larry Hogan is a popular figure who acts as a voice for all 50 governors at times. Other governors have sought his council, and Hogan has consulted with state health experts throughout the pandemic.
Andrew Cuomo, New York (Democrat)
Andrew Cuomo has certainly had his hands full as the leader of the nation’s coronavirus hotspot and site of violent protests. He has been hailed for his “informative and emotive press conferences,” which have made him a national political star. However, Politico feels that his lockdown policies may not have been aggressive enough since the crisis was not prevented. At first, he resisted the statewide stay-at-home order and also hesitated to close schools after other states had started doing so.
Charlie Baker, Massachusetts (Republican)
Charlie Baker has disagreed with President Trump at times, especially the idea of reopening the United States in time for Easter. Politico claimed that Baker has shown empathy and emotion, and communicated well with constituents. It was also stated that he provided “even-keeled updates,” and started a statewide relief fund for workers and households affected by the pandemic.
Governors Who Have Been Criticized
Ron DeSantis, Florida (Republican): DeSantis was criticized for his shelter-in-place order, which did not include churches from having services. The state is known for its “megachurches,” which hold very large gatherings for hundreds of parishioners. DeSantis responded by claiming that public health decisions were better left to local officials.
John Bel Edwards, Louisiana (Democrat): The Louisiana Governor permitted the state’s yearly Mardi Gras festivities to go on, and epidemiologists feel that this may have hastened the spread of disease. Louisiana was one of the worst-affected states, and the crisis was made even worse by its “stark health disparities.:
Mike Parson, Missouri (Republican): Parson did not issue Missouri’s shelter-in-place order until April 6. It was considered somewhat lax, as it allowed non-essential businesses to remain open. Even though local leaders and medical experts had “pleaded” with him to take action, he was hesitant to issue the order.