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Governor Beshear discusses COVID-19 concerns during State of the Commonwealth Address

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 11:36 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tornado recovery, economic growth, and COVID-19 were all important topics in Governor Andy Beshear’s State of the Commonwealth Address on Wednesday.

The governor is calling on Democrats and Republicans to work together this legislative session, which started on Tuesday.

Governor Beshear’s address came on the same day Kentucky shattered records for new COVID cases and an all-time high positivity rate.

“We’re seeing a severe, unprecedented escalation of cases due to a new variant we must take seriously,” he said. “Folks, COVID is our Spanish flu, it is our plague.”

The crowd of masked and unmasked legislators gave mixed responses to the governor’s calls for vaccination, as he mourned about 12,000 Kentuckians lost since the start of the pandemic.

“My administration’s COVID response has and will always be about saving lives,” Beshear said. “Not what is easy, not what is popular, but what is right.”

Senate President Robert Stivers (R - District 25) and Speaker of the House David Osborne (R - District 59) also advocated for vaccinations and boosters, especially amid rising cases, but stopped short of discussing further state mandates.

“People need to realize this is here and we’re going to have to deal with it, we’re going to have to move forward,” Stivers said. “We can’t sit back, quarantine, and stay in the house and not live. We’ve got to get out and move this economy, move this state, move our education systems forward.”

The two said state lawmakers are open to discussions to help school districts as the school year moves forward.

Even with the concerns, the governor remained optimistic.

“Because in 2021 we gained the tools and the knowledge we needed for victory,” Beshear said.

State leaders said they’re keeping a close eye on how COVID cases could affect this legislative session, and they’ll handle those cases as they come.

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