McMaster addresses concerns raised by state epidemiologist

State - Regional

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Gov. Henry McMaster said once again Monday he will not shut down South Carolina in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This all comes on the heels of an email from one of the state’s top health leaders coming to light, expressing regret for not speaking up publicly about her concerns with the state’s handling of the virus.

South Carolina Epidemiologist, Dr. Linda Bell has warned about the serious threat of COVID-19 during a handful of recent press conferences, but that voice is expressing regret over not being more vocal about the state’s response to the virus.

An article by The State newspaper cites a June email from Dr. Linda Bell.

In that email, she reportedly said McMaster’s staff had misled the public into believing she supported the governor’s decision to open close-contact businesses back up in May.

“We get views from everyone, our job is to see that we chart the right path and there’s a lot of collaboration, a lot of debate that goes into that,” McMaster said.

McMaster addressed that email during a Monday afternoon press conference. He said there’s no tension between him and Dr. Bell. He added he believes they’re taking the right steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

“I believe the record is showing that we have charted the right path in South Carolina with our deliberate, careful steps forward,” McMaster said.

The email also reportedly showed Dr. Bell saying she would no longer stand with Governor McMaster without speaking to what the science tells her is the right thing to do.

“Wear a mask, do those things and we can keep the businesses open,” McMaster said.

As for what’s next for the state, McMaster said he will not shut it down. He is asking people to follow CDC guidelines like wearing a mask and social distancing.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories