Gordon Reiterates Concern About Coronavirus, Criticizes Lack Of Empathy During News Conference

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon expected to have health orders aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus expire by the end of July, but then a spike in cases in mid-June made him and other state officials reconsider.

Gordon’s comments came during a Wednesday afternoon news conference, where he was joined by State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist as he addressed the issues including the current increase in coronavirus cases in the state.

Gordon noted that the state saw 24 new active cases on Wednesday and commented on the recent coronavirus-related death of a Sweetwater County man, the state’s 22nd death linked to the virus.

But the governor added he’s been receiving nasty emails from residents about the medical conditions or ages of people dying from the virus which he didn’t like or appreciate.

“When someone sends me a note that says, ‘Well, these people are going to die anyway, they’re just going to die sooner,’ I’m offended,” Gordon said. “As an American, most people are going to be offended that people should just get this COVID-19 and get out of the way. I’m sick and tired of that.”

Gordon reiterated that while the state and nation needed to stay open and keep the economy going, residents needed to continue to take precautions, such as wearing face coverings and practicing appropriate social distancing.

On the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, the number of new cases and hospitalizations in the state were listed as “concerning,” but the percentage of coronavirus tests returning a positive result was considered “improved,” although Gordon pointed out that the positive percentage has actually ticked up to 3% and that these reports were “concerning.”

He discussed the extension of the current public health orders, noting that the state was “well on [its] way” to relieving all of them, but now the trends are going upward. Gordon felt this was related to Wyomingites taking a “casual” approach to protecting their fellow citizens.

He also noted the state had seen 700 new laboratory-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the last month and hospitalizations are also rising. While Wyoming isn’t seeing the spikes in cases and deaths seen in other states, Gordon asked his constituents to help keep Wyoming “safer.”

“There is no constitutional right to go infect somebody else, there is no constitutional right that says you can put others in harm’s way,” the governor said. “Let’s behave and be mindful of our neighbors. That’s the country I grew up in. That’s the neighborhood I grew up in.”

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