ARLINGTON, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - "We've turned the page," Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said Tuesday, four months after the publication of a racist yearbook photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook.
The governor's comment also comes two weeks after the release of an Eastern Virginia Medical School investigation that failed to definitively determine whether Northam appears in a picture depicting one person in blackface and another in a KKK robe.
Asked Tuesday whether he feels as though he owes the people of Virginia a firm answer on who it is in the photo and how it ended up on his personal yearbook page, Northam replied, "Well as you know there was an investigation that was very thorough by Eastern Virginia Medical School. You know what has happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I regret that. I have addressed that. But today we are talking about gun violence and how to save lives in Virginia."
Northam said his administration also conducted its own investigation and turned the results over to EVMS.
"Virginians want to move forward," he continued. "They want a leader, a leader such as me that has passed Medicaid expansion in Virginia, 400,000 working Virginians that now have access to healthcare. 627,000 Virginians now can get their licenses restored because they weren't able to pay their fines and fees. These are the things that we've been able to do in Virginia. That's what Virginians care about. So we were able to move forward. But today is an important day for gun safety in Virginia, and we need to do everything that we can to make sure that there are no more horrific tragedies like we witnessed this weekend in Virginia Beach."
The impromptu question and answer session came after Northam held an Arlington press conference to announce funding for affordable housing for veterans.
Asked what he would tell Virginians who aren't ready to move on from the blackface scandal, Northam replied, "well I think they need to watch what's going on in Virginia. Again, we're leading Virginia. Good things are happening. So it's time to move forward."