Northam’s orders protected us

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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To the editor:

Statements in “The scariest part of COVID” (June 2) comparing executive orders by Gov. Ralph Northam to a monarchy shows misunderstanding of some basic government concepts. A monarch rules for life, and Governor Northam’s term expires in 2022. He is ineligible to run for the following term.

Virginian governors have been given the authority to issue executive orders by Article V of the Virginia Constitution and the Code of Virginia. The purpose of governor executive orders is to provide for the health and the safety of all Virginian residents. An example is during the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, the governor gave an executive order declaring an emergency. By doing that, it was possible for fuel to be hauled by tankers more readily over highways. Also, it mandated that government agencies provide assistance as needed to impacted areas.

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During the COVID crisis, Governor Northam and the Virginia Emergency Support Team made decisions for the safety and health of residents. The governor did not make unilateral decisions. The team’s decisions were based on information provided by local health departments and federal agencies. Governors in other states gave executive orders regarding COVID for their residents.

Rather than be upset by Governor Northam and his team trying to prevent the spread of COVID during the pandemic, I feel safer when there is a leader who takes actions to protect the well-being of Virginians. I am pleased with how Virginians have cooperated with the mask and social distance mandates to keep all of us safe.


Annette Rian