CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster was in the Lowcountry on Wednesday to promote the CARES Act Small Business Grant Programs.
During his visit, Gov. McMaster spoke one-on-one with News 2 about the currently election cycle, the on-going pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,500 South Carolinians, and the rebounding economy.
Earlier this week the AARP ranked South Carolina the deadliest when it came to deaths in nursing homes. Gov. McMaster says those individuals are the most vulnerable and it’s important to be extra careful.
“We want to be ranked best in everything, not the worst or deadliest in anything. But we knew at the beginning, about 40% of cases, or fatalities, were in the nursing homes. We know that’s where the older people are and many of them have various conditions or they wouldn’t be in the nursing home to begin with. So, we have to be very careful about those nursing homes.”
When asked if he thinks another surge in COVID-19 cases could happen again this fall, Gov. McMaster admitted it’s difficult to predict, especially as temperatures turn cooler.
“We hope not, but of course we don’t know,” he said. “We know from Dr. Redfield, who was here just a few days ago, as well as conversations with Dr. Birx and others, the weather plays an important part in this – people are outside and able to keep their distance, that’s good. But when they go inside, that’s where the chances of the spread increase because people are close together.”
In an interview with News 2 back in May, the Governor stated that he felt the state’s economy would be “humming by June.”
He said on Wednesday that compared to other economies we were humming by June. “Although it’s not humming fully,” he said. “There are other states that are still closed down- manufacturers are still closed down, they even closed down churches, their streets are empty. Our economy is coming back.”
He went on to say, “We did not close down as others did, we were criticized for it, but it was the right thing to do. We’re coming through it. South Carolina was open for business, we slowed down, we’re open now, but we’re being very careful. But our economy compared to the others is doing just great.”