Cape Cod Conservatives Unhappy With Massachusetts’s Re-Opening Plan
By Tom Joyce | May 19, 2020, 11:45 EDT
Conservatives on Cape Cod are not happy with the rate at which the Bay State is reopening its economy amid the coronavirus emergency.
On Monday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Phase One of the state’s re-opening plan. It allows places of worship, manufacturing and construction businesses, and what it calls “essential businesses” to operate. On Monday. May 25, this phase will also allow businesses such as hair salons, pet groomers, and car washes to open, as well as public beaches.
Yet it doesn’t include restaurants and lodging places (slated for Phase Two), or arts and entertainment venues and bars (slated for Phase Three). There’s no date offered as to when those might be able to resume.
Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer season on Cape Cod, is less than a week away, and the slow pace of the governor’s re-opening as some people on edge.
Adam Lange, the founder of United Cape Patriots, decried Governor Baker’s decisions.
Lange, who has been leading standout rallies each weekend calling for re-opening the Cape’s economy, told New Boston Post in an email message that the governor’s plan is a “major disaster” for Cape Cod. He noted that the Cape’s hospitals have not been overwhelmed by coronavirus patients but rather, Cape Cod Healthcare furloughed about 600 workers to save money due to a lack of business.
“The governor tells us daily to follow the science, but is placing draconian restrictions on beaches and charter fishing boats when the majority of fatalities have occurred in nursing homes,” Lange said in an email message to New Boston Post. “People know all this, so I expect to see major non-compliance with ridiculous safety protocols going forward. We had over 90 beach closures last year due to shark sightings. Do we really want our lifeguards focused on masks and social distancing enforcement? No.”
Ron Beaty, a county commissioner in Barnstable County, who covers all of Cape Cod, notes that a recent estimate put the unemployment rate on the Cape at 28 percent. Beaty said he thinks the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force is out of touch with the struggles Cape Codders are facing.
“The problem with the Cape Cod Re-opening Task Force is its composition,” Beaty, a conservative Republican, said in a written statement. “Public employees and otherwise, all 21 members still receive their rather substantial paychecks! They are unaffected by the economic shutdown and cannot possibly understand the urgency of the situation!”
“At the same time, Governor Baker’s Massachusetts Re-opening Advisory Board suffers from the exact same dilemma,” he added. “None of the panel membership are suffering like the general population are economically suffering. They have no clue what is really going on with most of our residents here in the Commonwealth.”
The Cape Cod Reopening Task Force told New Boston Post it would not be answering questions or commenting on the situation on Monday, May 18. However, a spokesman said there would be a media availability Tuesday afternoon with state Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro), Wendy Northcross of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, and Sean O’Brien of the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment.
Both Northcross and Frank Schulze, the communications director for Senator Cyr, directed New Boston Post to information on Tuesday’s press conference when asked for comment on Monday.