Massachusetts Republican Party Urges Governor Baker Not To Cave To Democrats and Instead Re-Open Economy

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Massachusetts Republicans have sent Governor Charlie Baker a letter urging him to not listen to Democrats in the state who are telling him to keep the state’s economy closed down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter, written by Jim Lyons, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, is co-signed by more than 250 of members of the state party, including members of the Republican State Committee and of town committees.

Lyons told Baker, a Republican, in the letter that a prolonged shutdown of businesses in the state is a gift for Democrats, who would like nothing more than to expand the role of the government in people’s lives.

“This disastrous pandemic has led to unconstitutional decrees being set in stone almost overnight, creating what is unquestionably a dream scenario for the Democrats — stifle independence, entrepreneurship, and personal responsibility, and you create a world dependent upon the state,” Lyons wrote.

The governor’s press office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lyons reminded Baker in the letter that 61 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths have occurred in nursing homes and that small business owners are frustrated that they are not able to operate while “big box stores” continue their businesses, as usual.

He also noted that the longer businesses are forced to stay closed, the more of them will close permanently.

Instead of forcing them to stay closed, Lyons said, businesses should be allowed to open and take the proper precautions to keep their customers safe.

“These business owners realize the importance of maintaining a hygienic environment — if the public does not trust them and their products, no amount of government intervention will keep them afloat,” he wrote. 

Although Republicans want to open up the state’s economy, Lyons said there is disagreement in the party over how quickly that should take place. He did note, however, that Republicans agree that the economy needs to re-open.

He also noted that the shutdown itself is causing deaths with alcoholism, drug use, and suicide, and that the exact numbers of those are still unknown.

When it comes to the pandemic, Lyons also said regulations and bureaucratic interference are not the solution.

“Americans, especially here in Massachusetts, continue to battle this deadly pandemic and are more than capable of continuing to open the economy safely,” he said.

“We support your efforts to continue to aggressively fight the virus and to continue to reopen Massachusetts,” he added.