As residents of Loudoun County, we are immensely disappointed and angered by your lack of process in requesting Governor Northam’s further restriction of the rights of the people you were elected to represent. Your letter to the governor, dated May 10, 2020, was the result of consultation with only other politicians and a few medical health employees. You blatantly avoided any official input from the public — the public that you were elected to serve. The governor blindly obeyed your edict and issued Executive Order 62. This order unfairly constrains Loudoun County to another period of limiting the freedoms of your constituents.
You have unilaterally abridged our constitutionally protected freedoms, well beyond the mandates applied to the rest of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Public Access Project, data from the Virginia Department of Health reports Loudoun County COVID deaths at 7.3 per 100,000 people – fewer deaths per capita than Virginia overall, yet you keep us locked down longer than the rest of Virginia.
In your request to the Governor why did you choose to lump us in with other, quite different, counties instead of aligning with your County’s Towns’ elected officials? Your allegiance seems to be with Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William counties, not to Loudoun. Being a member of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) should not mean that we should be tied to these other counties when the data and facts for our County vary so greatly from theirs. Our voices matter.
The “data-driven” metrics on which you have based your decisions for the County indicate that there are sufficient hospital beds, PPE, and testing equipment. In the week preceding your letter only eleven new hospitalizations occurred in the week proceeding your request to the Governor, yet you to continue to warrant the entire lockdown of the population of Loudoun County.
What is your immediate plan to assist small businesses that you and the Governor decree stay closed? The $1.4 million Loudoun Business Interruption Program offered $1.4 million in grant assistance to Loudoun’s rural and small businesses, but only resulted in assisting 16% of the applicants on some level (201 out of 1,250). What about the other 84% that were offered no help? Each day that you keep these businesses closed is another day in which Loudoun businesses will fail permanently, and employees’ families will be left without options to survive, let alone prosper. Loudoun’s Executive Director of Economic Development reported that 25% of our small businesses may be lost permanently.
Why do you trust big box stores to provide safe environments, but not local businesses? Don’t you trust Loudouners to make reasonable and safe choices for themselves? This is a county with some of the highest numbers of advanced degrees in the USA. We can measure six feet and judge what is safe for our families.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, why are you not reporting to your constituents the data on the most vulnerable in our county? What is your plan to protect those vulnerable to the increasing incidents of domestic violence that is increasing for lack of income, restrictive social interaction, lack of job, lack of schooling, and trapped in place by your decisions?
The people of Loudoun are suffering! We have conformed for many, many weeks to forego our personal freedoms and liberties as individuals, for the good of the community – to flatten the curve. Now, your Facebook statement as to testing and tracing “Getting to this number could be many months” is wholly unacceptable. Three new hospitalizations this week do not warrant the ruination of thousands and thousands of vibrant lives. We demand that you put aside your politically expedient and partisan pronouncements and reopen Loudoun County now! The lockdown is now worse than the virus.
Members of the Loudoun County Republican Women’s Club