By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2020

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming’s governor says he disagrees with a state Republican Party resolution calling on him to rescind a state of emergency in place since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, called the resolution approved by the Wyoming State Republican Central Committee in mid-November a “very unfortunate choice.”

Besides allowing the state health officer to issue public-health orders, the state of emergency Gordon issued in March makes it easier for hospitals and others to get funding and other resources to help deal with the virus, Gordon said Tuesday in a virtual meeting with the Wyoming Tribune Eagle editorial board.

“I just think it was an unfortunate resolution but it’s perhaps a sign of the times of how far apart this country has become,” he continued. “I certainly hope to work with GOP leadership to try to find a way to sort of rethink what that resolution was.”

Gordon’s comments came a day after Wyoming reported a record 247 coronavirus hospitalizations and as he himself was experiencing mild symptoms of the virus. Gordon tested positive on Nov. 25.

The Republican central committee makes “every effort” to invite the governor and other top statewide elected officials, all of whom are Republicans, to attend and speak at its meetings, state GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne said by email.

“The Wyoming Republican Party does not take its business lightly. Especially on the topic of resolutions, everyone at the meeting is granted an opportunity to speak. Usually much debate takes place and includes facts and analysis,” Eathorne wrote.

Gordon suggested additional statewide health orders could come soon as he worried about the potential for a “surge upon the surge” over the holiday season.

“Our concern is how do we make sure that our infection rate gets down,” Gordon said. “That’s going to take more stringent steps.”

State officials also want to help give businesses a “fighting chance” this winter before a vaccine hopefully reduces infections, Gordon said.

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