Civitas responds to latest Cooper executive order

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Lawmakers need to realize that an economic cost is also a human cost.

RALEIGH – Today, Gov. Roy Cooper issued another executive order in response to the coronavirus outbreak, extending public school closures and ordering the closure of some businesses, such as gyms, movie theaters, and hair salons by 5:00 pm on Wednesday. Also, some media pundits
are calling for North Carolina to move to a “shelter-in-place” posture.

In this context, Civitas Institute President Donald Bryson issued the following statement:

“North Carolina communities and businesses have responded extraordinarily in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic; coming together to care for each other in exemplary ways. Such cooperation is not something that state officials should be eager to halt. Instead, they should encourage it. State and federal governments do not own the silver bullets to help North Carolina out of this crisis, and bringing the economy, and the livelihoods that it represents, to a grinding halt will make things considerably worse for a number of our state’s workers and entrepreneurs. Businesses provide goods and services that North Carolinians need. Lawmakers must realize that crippling economic costs are to be avoided because, in reality, they represent human costs; families doing the best they can to provide for their loved ones.


Last week’s move by Gov. Cooper to disregard the will of the Council of State on Executive Order 118 was disturbing. The framers of the state constitution created a dispersed executive branch, intentionally allowing for the governor to be advised by the Council of State. North Carolinians deserve better than unilateral action by the governor and his political advisors. They are entitled to a unified front from elected officials, something that is sorely lacking in conversations surrounding the state’s response to this crisis. Raleigh should strive to be less fractured than Washington.”

In the coming days and weeks, Civitas Institute’s policy team will publish critical policy prescriptions to help our state’s legislators think through the proper governmental response to this crisis. More information will soon be available at

In the meantime, we ask that Governor Cooper not demand our citizens choose between saving lives and protecting livelihoods. A respect for both life and liberty are essential American virtues, in both goods times and bad.

Founded in 2005, the Civitas Institute is a Raleigh, NC-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit policy organization that fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.