By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD – The former state representative who helped organize the first #ReopenNH event in Concord last Saturday said the event was so successful that another one is planned for May 2 from noon to 2 p.m.
J.R. Hoell, a Republican from Dunbarton, said Gov. Chris Sununu’s newly formed Governor’s Economic Re-opening Task Force could be slowing down the process of getting business open again.
“We just need to let the executive order expire on May 4,” Hoell said, referring to Sununu’s stay-at-home order that closed non-essential businesses and told people to stay home except for work, food shopping, medical needs or outdoor relaxation to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The stay-at-home order went into effect March 27.
Hoell, who has said the group is local to New Hampshire and not part of a national movement, said the government isn’t testing for antibodies to see how many people are asymptomatic.
“There are other options” to a lockdown that haven’t been properly vetted instead of closing all non-essential businesses, Hoell said, adding the “one-size fits all model” isn’t looking at data that could be more efficient and less detrimental to businesses while protecting people, especially the elderly.
At a news conference on Thursday, Sununu said he is putting off making a decision until next week on whether to extend the order, but said the data to lift the order isn’t promising. He said his decision will be based on what is best for the public’s health.
Last Saturday, a couple hundred people ignored the limit on gatherings to 10 or fewer people and protested in front of the State House and in cars that drove around the building. Most were not wearing face coverings and Hoell said no police came to the scene.
The Governor’s Economic Re-opening Task Force, which is opened to all who call in, will meet again on Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. The meeting couldn’t accommodate all the callers for its first remote gathering on Wednesday and the call-in information for Thursday’s meeting was not posted on the governor’s website.
The governor’s spokesman said all of the task force meeting information, including the call-in number, is posted on the following page: https://www.nheconomy.com/reopeningtaskforce.