WASHINGTON - Governors nationwide are leading the response against the coronavirus in their own states. In Virginia, there are questions regarding the role of Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.
"I know I can do a lot and the people of Virginia know that I and my staff can as well," Fairfax said when asked if he felt he was being underutilized by Gov. Northam's team. "I think people can make their judgments about whether they want the help or not. But we again believe it's an all hands on deck moment it's not a moment for politics. It's a moment for everybody doing everything they can."
Fairfax has not been seen at the recent press briefings and says he hasn't been invited to one since March 12th.
He sent a letter to the Governor's office suggesting ten points of action on March 18th, including closing schools for the rest of the school year. He says he hasn't been asked for any help since.
"We have examples from all around the county -- governors, lieutenant governors and their teams working very closely together on the very significant problems that people in the states are facing," Fairfax said. "We will continue to make ourselves available to do that and I'll always keep my focus on the 8.5 million Virginians -- that's what I think about every day."
In a statement, Governor Northam's office said, "The Governor is grateful for any and all input from the Lieutenant Governor, and for their ongoing partnership. Lieutenant Governor Fairfax receives daily updates on Virginia's COVID-19 response efforts and has a standing invitation to regular calls with the Governor and administration members."
In Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has delegated all of his day to day duties to Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford so he can focus on the coronavirus pandemic.