EAST DERRY, N.H.—Gov. Sununu, in an act of utter hypocrisy, issued an executive order yesterday that micromanages private health businesses after throwing a tantrum about lawmakers who want to protect individual liberty and ban vaccine mandates in New Hampshire—a solution that would actually ease health care staffing shortages.
The executive order, citing RSA 141-C, a state statute on communicable disease, directs hospitals to establish temporary acute care centers inside hospitals, increase bed capacity and use whatever “flexibilities”—whatever that means—to combat a “surge” in hospital visits, among several other orders dictating what private health facilities should be doing.
And yet, it hasn’t even been a month since the governor has called efforts to protect individual liberty a “communist” idea that “regulates private businesses.” A quick read of the governor’s executive order uncovers the governor’s propensity for controlling private businesses, just like he did during the entirety of the State of Emergency last year.
“The staffing shortage that we have in New Hampshire right now has been exacerbated because Gov. Sununu refuses to defend the rights of hospital staff, who are being forced out of their careers because they won’t inject themselves with an experimental serum,” said Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of RebuildNH. “If Gov. Sununu would simply call the Legislature into Special Session and ask lawmakers to protect the natural rights of New Hampshire citizens by banning vaccine mandates statewide, there wouldn’t be a staffing shortage at hospitals and there would be no need for him to act unilaterally. In fact, we’d have plenty of health care staff as workers from surrounding states would flock to New Hampshire and fill needed roles.”
Our founders foresaw the potential for emergency situations such as this and provided a constitutional method for the Legislature to meet and deal with the problem. The Governor and Executive Council have the authority to call a Special Session to manage these types of crises between regular sessions, and Gov. Sununu ought to do that now.
“The Legislature is the constitutionally appropriate branch of government to deal with these complex issues,” said Melissa Blasek, executive director of RebuildNH and state representative from Merrimack. “The representatives of the People have many ideas on how to deal with health care access and staffing, vaccine mandates, and out-patient treatment. We are ready and willing to discuss these bills with the governor, but he hasn’t been open to communicating with lawmakers.”
“If the governor wants to do something positive, he should direct DHHS to educate the public on early and effective outpatient treatment to reduce hospitalizations while working with legislators to increase access to those treatments,” Blasek added. “With New Hampshire seeing massive increases in hospitalizations, but some of the most restrictive access to out-patient care, there are real moves the governor could make in partnership with the Legislature, and that’s the way republican government should be working.”
“Gov. Sununu continues to show his disdain for our constitutional form of government and push well beyond the boundaries of his lawful authority,” Manuse added. “The governor and his arrogant and lawless behavior is directly responsible for the suffering of New Hampshire people, and it’s time for some of the other leaders in our state government to grow some courage and call him to account.”