Statement of Kirk Cox on school reopening and vaccine distribution

Former Virginia House of Delegates Speaker, retired teacher, and candidate for Governor Kirk Cox released the following statement Thursday following the Governor’s press conference on vaccine distribution and school reopening.

“Throughout this pandemic, Governor Northam has failed to lead time and time again. While it’s good news that he wants our kids back in school, and it’s good news that he’s trying to speed up vaccine distribution, the truth is ‘better late than never’ just doesn’t cut it.

“I’ve been calling on the Governor to focus on opening schools since last summer. I said in July that we should have a conversation about how, not if we should open schools. The Governor’s failure to recognize this until now has cost our children immeasurably.

“On vaccine delivery, I urged him to take decisive action over a week ago. As I said Tuesday, Virginia still ranks in the bottom third in vaccine distribution. Again, I’m glad the Governor is prioritizing this, but we have to ask ourselves why Virginia wasn’t more prepared from the beginning. Only the administration can answer that.

“The Governor said at the end of his press conference that he is ‘pleased’ with the way things are, but tell that to the children who have been robbed of a full semester of education, the parents forced to choose between work and childcare, and the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who are still waiting on their vaccines. Being late to action when the stakes are this high is nothing to be ‘pleased’ about. This is failed leadership — and Virginians deserve better.”

Background: 

Republican Legislators called on Governor Northam back in July to prioritize five days of in-school learning this fall.