EXCLUSIVE: Nicole Galloway critiques Governor Parson’s coronavirus response

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ST. LOUIS – Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway won the Democratic primary for governor Tuesday. Thursday she spoke with FOX 2’s Chris Regnier about Governor Mike Parson’s response to the pandemic and more.

“All the numbers are going in the wrong direction,” Galloway said. “We need a complete reset on our coronavirus strategy because Governor Parson has failed to contain the spread of this virus. He had his chance and we need to go in a different direction”

Many Missouri residents are worried about the state’s economic recovery, but Galloway said that is dependent upon how well the virus can be contained.

She cited specific measures Missouri needs to take to achieve containment: a mask mandate, testing resources for public health officials, contact tracing resources, and more PPE. Financially, Galloway wants to assist workers who have lost their job “through no fault of their own,” she said. “It makes no sense that the Parson administration is changing eligibility for unemployment so less folks can get the resources they need to get through this crisis.”

When it comes to schools, Galloway believes Parson needs to provide more guidance because school districts are making tough decisions.

“Under the Parson administration schools are closing because he has failed to lead on containment of the virus,” Galloway said.

She continued her comments saying that there should be guidelines from the state level, but in her opinion, there isn’t good enough data out there for each school district to make an informed decision. She said school districts need help and support.

“They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it,” Parson said in a radio interview on Friday, July 17.

In response to this quote Galloway told FOX 2 that Parson disregarded that kids could go home and spread it to their parents and grandparents.

“In Parson’s mind we all just have to go home and get over his failure. That is not good enough,” Galloway said.

Galloway began to address violent crime in the state. At last check, there have been 150 homicides in St. Louis City. Galloway referenced back to last year when there was a string of children shot in St. Louis and Parson called for a special session on used car and boat trade-in tax breaks.

“I am glad that he has finally awoken from his slumber and realized that violent crime is an issue in this state,” Galloway said.

The current special session has bi-partisan bills on the floor that she says will pass, but Galloway has an issue with the session because the legislation only addresses “crime on the back end not on the front end.”

She said addressing crime on the front end comes from putting in place common-sense gun safety measures like background checks.

“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as state auditor.”

She said through her audits she has found $350 million in government waste and abuses and because of her audits, she has brought 60 criminal counts against corrupt Republican and Democratic public officials in Missouri.

“That same urgency, that same fierceness I’m going to take that into the governor’s mansion to fight for the working people in this state,” Galloway said.

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