Governor Mike Parson finally takes “action” against COVID-19


Gov. Mike Parson outside of his Missouri Capitol office. // Courtesy of the Missouri Governor’s Office

It’s been eight months, but Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is putting his foot down on COVID-19… by calling on lawmakers to take action to address the problem of COVID-19 lawsuits. This is of such great and immediate concern, Parson has called for a special session to convene to pass this legislation.

Since the pandemic, over 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against employers across the nation. Some states have enacted some forms of protection for businesses, including hospitals and retirement homes—sectors known to be coronavirus hot spots.

The governor’s call comes as Republicans in Missouri’s legislature decry what they deem “opportunistic lawsuits”.

The governor’s excitement for action around protecting businesses and asking for a special session arises seven months after the last stimulus check was sent to Americans. That one time $1,200 boost has seen no follow-up, despite Democrats in the House approving a bill months ago.

Cases in Missouri have set yet another new record today.

“We greatly appreciate Gov. Mike Parson’s leadership on this issue. As we fight this pandemic and continue our economic recovery, we need to make sure we are protecting businesses, schools, and health facilities from the growing threat of opportunistic COVID-19 litigation,” Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the MCCI said in a press release.

Missouri Republicans, who are suddenly very concerned about protecting businesses from facing accountability for their response to a deadly pandemic, will be embarking on a “mask optional” bus tour of the state. Parson himself visited several retirement / Veteran’s care facilities during the campaign, for photo-ops. These facilities wound up experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks shortly after, in line with Parson and his wife testing positive.

In a Twitter thread this morning, Parson identified health care workers, businesses, manufacturing, schools, and (for some unknown reason) churches and possible targets of lawsuits, requiring statewide protection.

It should be noted that individual health care workers, who are currently lacking supplies and burning out while dealing with flooded hospitals, are not in need of liability protection. No one is suing first responders or teachers, and to lump them in with church-goers for some reason is disingenuous at best. This is a structural, systemic issue, and the people making these top-tier decisions should be accountable for their actions. No one at the bottom of the ladder is looking for this kind of legislation.

The statements were not received well by Missourians.

Mike knows who is paying his bills, and it is not the 3,411 hardworking Missourians who have died of COVID-19 so far this year. As cases spike across the state and hospitals are overwhelmed, what will it take for our governor to focus on the thing that’s killing people instead of protecting corporations? What is the magic number of deaths when he will start taking this seriously for all Missourians, and not just his top-level donors?



Categories: Politics