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Beshear Meets With Black Lawmakers On Special Session, Makes Vaccine Pledge

Karyn Czar

Gov. Andy Beshear met with Black legislative leaders in Frankfort Tuesday about the possibility of a special session dealing with police reforms - and made a personal promise to Kentuckians regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Reacting to criticisms from Republican leaders regarding the state's handling of ongoing racial justice protests and incidents of violence in Louisville, along with calls for a special session, Beshear chose to start the discussion about potential legislative action with the Black Legislative Caucus.

"This is a place that we've got to start and these are leaders that deserve to be heard. I want to make sure that that's the first conversation that I have," the Democrat said. "Now, we have numerous conversations with other groups planned out and the idea here is to determine if something is truly possible."

Asked about the pledge by pharmaceutical companies to uphold scientific standards in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine, the governor said the move was important important - and that rushing the process would undermine trust. When he and health authorities feel a vaccine is safe, Beshear promised a public display of confidence.

"I tell you what, I will take the vaccine, so... when I feel confident about it, the people of Kentucky can see that I'm willing to do it," the governor said.

Tuesday's coronavirus numbers were dramatically lower due to lab closures over the holiday weekend, and the governor warned of tough days ahead this week as the state approaches 1,000 total deaths linked to the virus.

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.