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Northam calls out 'misinformation, lack of guidance' from Washington in COVID-19 response

When asked what shortcomings he had seen in Washington's response to COVID-19, Northam said that mixed messages and misinformation coming from national leaders was an issue.
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Posted at 6:11 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 18:12:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Misinformation and a lack of guidance from Washington were key problems identified by Gov. Ralph Northam on Monday when discussing the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When asked what shortcomings he had seen in Washington's response to COVID-19, Northam said that the "mixed messages and misinformation" coming from national leaders was an issue.

Northam called the pandemic a "biological war" and said that he expects President Trump and leaders in Washington to "accept that that's the reality now, and to have guidance and to also give support to the states where we need it."

The Governor further explained that his administration relies on guidance from the Trump Administration to handle specific issues like administering and procuring COVID-19 tests and helping hospitals acquire resources, but that they had not received the guidance they were looking for.

"This problem isn't unique to Virginia, but it encompasses all of our states," Northam said. "So we have had to take the lead and do whats best for all of our citizens."

At the press conference on Monday, Northam placed new restrictions on non-essential businesses, requiring recreational and entertainment centers to close and placing new guidelines in place for brick and mortar retail stores.