The Doctor serving as South Carolina’s State epidemiologist (Dr. who studies the spread of diseases) stated that she regrets not having spoken out publicly about her concerns as of reopening businesses during Covid-19.
The State newspaper reported Saturday that Dr. Linda Bell stated in a June email that she would no longer stand with S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster “without speaking to what the science tells us is the right thing to do.”
Bell stated she felt that the Gov. staff misled the public by having them believe she agreed with the re-opening of restaurants, barber shops and other close contact businesses in May.
Brian Symmes, McMaster’s spokesperson stated the governor appreciates Bell’s input but his overall “scope of responsibility and considerations is vastly different” than public health alone.
At no point prior did Bell voice any opposition to the information released by the Governor’s office or staff while standing next to him at many press conferences.
The State article includes “Allowing it to go unaddressed is a disservice to DHEC and the public,’’ according to Bell’s email to agency outreach official Warren Bolton and spokeswoman Laura Renwick. “Not speaking out more from a policy perspective is one of the reasons that South Carolina is now among the states with the worst outlook.
“I’m responsible for any detrimental (e)ffect my statements or my omissions may have for public health and I need to fix that.’’
Bell continues to place blame on the governor’s staff by stating they were manipulative and her allowance to meetings prior to press conferences was limited.
Symmes stated the governor sees the Covid-19 issue as serious and that people do need to take precautions. But with people out of work after the states shutdown in the spring, the state needed to begin efforts to maintain it’s economy, the governor has said.
2031 Deaths have been cited in South Carolina due to Covid-19. This number means that the individuals who died tested positive for Covid-19 at their time of death. It does not mean they died due to Covid-19.
Gov. McMaster’s must balance public health with the State’s Economy and many other aspects when making decisions concerning this issue. With elections right around the corner it will not surprise anyone if more sides are chosen prior to November.