Public Health: Covid-19
We need to plan for future pandemics like Covid-19 with an established set of public health responses that prioritizes saving lives.
For nearly two years, our state has grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic that has taken over 14,000 lives and made countless others ill for months on end. Although Covid-19 rates seem to be finally decreasing, we have to realize that Covid may be with us for years to come, and that future variants of this virus could be even more severe and spread even easier. We must have a public health policy in place that will deal with this issue that is based in actual science, not political opinions. We must look at how our State's responses impacted people's lives and livelihood and ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past.
As Governor, one of my first steps will be to establish a Pandemic Task Force that will work with the Federal government to examine our State's responses throughout this pandemic and the impact this had on public health. If it is found that the current administration made deliberate choices that knowingly put South Carolinian lives at risk needlessly, I will insist that appropriate legal actions be taken to hold those elected officials responsible for those decisions.
As Governor, I will work with this Task Force to establish a science based pandemic response plan that will be implemented when necessary in the future to safe guard the lives of all of our citizens.
One of the most important things we need to do is to create a separate public health agency that would be tasked with monitoring infection rates and making public health decisions to implement the response plan as needed, without interference from elected officials. This plan would likely include, at a minimum, a vaccination passport system, seasonal mask mandates for public places, and employer supported vaccination requirements. It would determine the thresholds for business closures in advance and also decide when and how mask mandates will be implemented.