Gov. Cooper suggests ‘more people could be alive’ if not for ‘misinformation’ surrounding COVID-19 pandemic

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Gov. Roy Cooper offered some strong thoughts on the U.S. Capitol insurrection and the COVID-19 pandemic in a briefing Tuesday.

The governor highlighted what he called a “violent attack on our nation’s Capitol” before spotlighting North Carolina’s grim COVID-19 statistics.

“A few days ago, our country endured a violent attack on our nation’s Capitol, the seat of our democracy. It left death and destruction, along with threats by some of more to come. This assault on our democracy was the result of dangerous rhetoric, lies and disinformation,” Cooper said.

He said this is a reminder that words matter and that words are powerful – especially when they come from elected leaders.

“Words are powerful and can be used to help or harm,” Cooper said. “Last week, we saw how the words of elected leaders can cost lives.”

The governor said “lies and misinformation” have cost lives during this pandemic and called on leaders to share factual information and listen to science.

“People listen to leaders and often follow their calls and imitate their actions. As the death toll from this pandemic continues to increase, our leaders must listen to science, focus on the facts, and tell the truth with their words and the examples that they set,” Cooper said. “More people could be alive today but for dangerous falsehoods that have been spread about the critical importance of masks, social distancing, and other common-sense safety rules.”

Cooper highlighted a sharp rise in cases in North Carolina and across the country and said that “we are in a dire situation,” before asking people to follow safety protocols that are in place.

On Tuesday, COVID-19 hospitalizations in North Carolina jumped to its second-highest level ever as the state added 6,851 new cases.

Hospitalizations went up to 3,940, only second to Jan. 6’s revised hospitalization total of 3,964.

The number of new cases on Tuesday is a little more than 900 more than Monday’s number of cases.

Mondays and Tuesdays historically have lower counts of new cases as testing data lags from the weekend.

Another 60 deaths were reported on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 7,638.

The percent positive increased to 14.7 percent, reflecting Sunday’s numbers.

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