COVID, State Response Scrutinized At Gubernatorial Debate

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Coronavirus response, the virus’s effects on the poultry industry, the economy and the state budget took up a large part of a debate between Democratic Governor John Carney and Republican Julianne Murray Tuesday evening.

Carney said the state’s response to COVID-19 initially contained elements of fear and uncertainty as the state closed down businesses, ramped up testing and promoted wearing of masks and social distancing. Now, Carney says he as much as anyone does not want to see another shutdown should another wave of the virus strike hard.

“The tools that we have are limited with respect to shutting things down once again. We really have to adapt to a new normal which includes mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings,” Carney said.

Murray, meanwhile, said Delaware has been stuck in phase two of economic reopening for too long.

“Our small businesses were shut down for months and are still operating at 60 percent. Our gyms are operating at 30 percent. Our restaurants are struggling, for something that 99.94 percent of the population survives,” Murray said.

The candidates also fielded questions about affordable housing, homelessness, education, property reassessment, crime, voting security and other issues.

The debate was presented by the University of Delaware Center for Political Communication and Delaware Public Media, and was heard on WGMD. Democratic Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and Republican Lee Murphy will debate tonight at 6:30, also on WGMD.