Gov. Lamont announces CT appointees to multi-state council to restore economy, reopen CT businesses after pandemic

Regional News

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Governor Ned Lamont joined governors from six other states in the region to announce the creation of and state representatives to a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work following the coronavirus pandemic.

Lamont was on a conference call Monday with Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, Governor John Carney of Delaware, and Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island to discuss the plan.

According to Lamont, the council will develop a “fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.”

The group will consist of one health expert, one economic development expert and the chief of staff from each state.

The appointees for each state were revealed Sunday. Connecticut’s regional council representatives include:

  • Dr. Albert Ko: Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and department chair at the Yale School of Public Health
  • Indra Nooyi: Co-chair of the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT and former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
  • Paul Mounds, Jr.: Chief of Staff for the Office of Governor Ned Lamont

Governor Lamont stressed in a statement Sunday that in CT, the “multi-state council is a separate entity from the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, which is the localized, Connecticut-based panel of health, business, and education experts that will consult with the Lamont administration and the state’s legislative leaders on the re-opening of the economy. Members who will serve on the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group are in the process of being appointed and will be announced in the coming days.”

RELATED: Gov. Lamont unveils Reopen CT Advisory Group to gradually reopen the state after pandemic

The goal is to ease social isolation without triggering renewed spread. The council will create the framework using tools available, including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing.

Lamont announced that the nonprofit organization AdvanceCT plans to form a panel of experts from within the state’s medical and business community that will consult with him through this process.

That panel will be known as the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group and will examine issues concerning how best to allow commerce to begin, while also ensuring the state’s public health and well-being are protected.

The advisory group will be co-chaired by Indra Nooyi, who the current board co-chair of AdvanceCT and the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, and Albert Ko MD, who is a professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and a department chair at the Yale School of Public Health.

Other senior advisors will include Ezekiel Emanuel, who serves as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, and Scott Gottlieb, who is a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

“One thing that’s undeniable is that this virus does not stop at the border of any county, state, or country, but the impact is the same when it comes to our respective economies and healthcare systems. Working as a regional coalition to make the right decisions will lead to the best public health results for all of our residents. We must solve these problems together.”

Governor Ned Lamont

During a press conference, Lamont said Massachusetts joined as well.

“The Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to participating in discussions with neighboring states and experts regarding the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Charlie Baker said. “Massachusetts also remains focused on efforts to expand testing, ensure hospital capacity and provide the necessary PPE to those on the front lines to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

“We have been collaborating closely with our neighboring states to combat this pandemic through a uniform approach to social distancing and density reduction and it has been working well. Now it is time to start opening the valve slowly and carefully while watching the infection rate meter so we don’t trigger a second wave of new infections. This is not a light switch that we can just flick on and everything goes back to normal – we have to come up with a smart, consistent strategy to restart the systems we shut down and get people back to work, and to the extent possible we want to do that through a regional approach because we are a regional economy. New York is partnering with these five states to create a multi-state council that will come up with a framework based on science and data to gradually ease the stay at home restrictions and get our economy back up and running.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo 

“No one has given more thought or is more eager to restart our economy than I am, but if we don’t get the sequencing right, we put more lives at risk. The only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery. Then, and only then, do we position ourselves to fully ignite our economy and get the residents of our state back to work while minimizing the danger of this disease. A coordinated, regional approach, informed by a multi-state council of experts, will help us avoid a major setback with potentially disastrous consequences. I look forward to the day when the facts on the ground allow us to ease our restrictions and move our regional economy forward.”

Governor Phil Murphy 

 “Our highest priority remains protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. While my administration continues to take critical steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, I also recognize that we must look ahead and take a measured, careful approach to prepare for the future while ensuring that we don’t undo all of our efforts. Pennsylvania will work collaboratively with our partners both in state and in surrounding states to develop a comprehensive strategy that first focuses on health but also addresses the need to gradually restore our economy.”

Governor Tom Wolf 

 “We still have a situation in Delaware that is getting worse. Infections of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are rising. Delawareans should stay home. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Don’t visit Delaware unless you need to see a doctor, or care for a family member. You’ll only increase everyone’s risk. At the same time, we need to look forward. We need a consistent approach for moving our states out of this crisis, when that day comes. I’m grateful for the partnership of my fellow Governors in the region. They are all working around-the-clock to prevent surges in COVID-19 cases, protect hospital capacity for the most critically-ill patients, and save lives. We’ll get through this by working together.”

Governor John Carney

 “States are taking the lead as we fight to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives. I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken, and I’m constantly thinking about what it will take to safely reopen our economy. But we know that this virus does not recognize borders, and it’s clear we need a strong, coordinated regional approach to avoid a second wave of this disease. I’m grateful to my fellow governors for their leadership during this crisis and I’m confident that this new partnership will support our efforts to get Rhode Islanders – and all Americans – back to work safely.”

Governor Gina Raimondo

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