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'Let The Whole World Sue Me': Beshear Unfazed On Closures As COVID-19 Cases Rise

AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is sounding unruffled by proposed legislation that would enable businesses to sue the state over coronavirus-related closures, saying he would rather err on the side of being overly cautious.

"I'm trying to save people's lives and if somebody doesn't understand that... or care, I don't really have a reaction for them," the Democrat told media during his Sunday briefing. "People can put an amendment and let the whole world sue me. I used to be a lawyer. I can handle that. But I'm going to continue to do the right thing no matter what."

Beshear added golf courses and home improvement stores to the list of entities which could face tightening restrictions or closure if they fail to observe the CDC's social distancing guidelines.

"We're going to have to ask that either those stores find a way to enforce social distancing or we're going to have to see how essential they are," the governor said.

As for the pleasant weather drawing more Kentuckians outdoors in recent days, Beshear encouraged residents to get exercise on their own or with family but to resist the temptation to gather in groups.

"I know it's beautiful outside, but folks, this is real," he insisted.

The governor reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 as of 4 PM Sunday, with 15 in Fayette County. There were no new deaths recorded. Beshear reiterated that it's "crunch time" over the next few weeks and Kentuckians' behavior will determine whether the state sees surges like the ones seen in major urban centers across the country.

"Even in our best case scenario and we 'flatten the curve,' we are going to have an escalation of cases. We are in that escalation now," the governor cautioned.

In other news, Beshear hinted his office is drafting plans to release more prisoners in response to the virus outbreak, though they will be more limited in scope than what's being suggested by the state's head of public advocacy.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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