Daniel Erspamer, Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana's Pelican Institute think tank, takes issue with the decision announced Monday by Governor John Bel Edwards to keep the state in Phase II reopening.

"Obviously we are disappointed," Erspamer say, in reference to the Governor's announcement, "It's time to get people back to work.There's too many families suffering, too many people still without a job and the longer we keep these restrictions on the economy, the harder it is for people to come back."

"I genuinely have a lot of respect for the men and women who help make these decisions," Erspamer continues, "They're hard decisions, the economic challenges and the health challenges. But if you're a public health official, your job is to see everything through the lens of the health crisis. If you're the Governor...in charge of governing our state, your job is to bring all of those considerations to the table, the health concerns and the economic concerns and make the best decision based on that. But when you weigh all the issues, the mental health challenges, the long term health challenges, food security, housing security, dealing with lack of a job, there are ways to protect the most vulnerable with health issues and getting people back to work and staying in Phase II is not the answer to that."

After addressing questions about the possible political and financial motivations of state leaders and their Phase II decision, the think tank CEO also points Louisianans to a petition on the Pelican Institute website. "You can see (the petition) at pelicaninstitute.org. Plus you can see the latest jobs report numbers and this is not going to get any better until we can get people back to work."

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