MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Saturday, State Representative Matt Wilhelm (D- Manchester), released a statement criticizing New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu on his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May, Wilhelm joined 177 other Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives asking Sununu to issue an emergency order requiring the mandatory usage of masks in public when New Hampshire residents are unable to socially distance.
Following the one-day record high of COVID-19 infections in New Hampshire announced by Sununu earlier this week, with an even higher number of infections coming on Friday, Wilhelm reiterated his call for additional action by Sununu, adding a statement from CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield that face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.
“Today, I am once again calling on Gov. Sununu to follow the science and protect the health and safety of Granite Staters. We should be concerned by the increase of positive COVID-19 cases and by the lack of face coverings worn by residents in public when social distancing cannot be maintained,” said Wilhelm. “This is a common-sense measure that can save lives, and it should not be political. The Governor must support science and good public health practices.”
Sununu’s administration has issued a wide array of guidance for various industries and how they should operate in the pandemic and Sununu has issued 71 emergency ordered related to the pandemic this year. One of those emergency orders required face coverings at scheduled gatherings of 100 or more individuals and has encouraged mask usage in the past, but has refused to mandate requiring masks in public, making it the only state in New England and one of only 16 states across the country without a mandate.
In an August 2020 poll by the UNH Survey Center, 76 percent of New Hampshire residents said they approved of Sununu’s handling of the pandemic in New Hampshire.