As more and more people get vaccinated every day, Louisianians reflect on the Edwards administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At this point last year, Louisiana was in lockdown with the rest of the country due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Today, the state is one of only nine where all adults are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
As COVID-19 cases lower and vaccine access rises, many PEOPL have pointed to Governor Edwards’ quick response to the pandemic and subsequent policies as the turbulent year progressed.
Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer of the Louisiana Department of Health, has enjoyed working with Governor Edwards.
"I think Governor Edwards has really excelled," Kanter states. "He's data-driven, he believes in science, he has the courage to make a difficult decision and stand by that, and he listens to the needs of the state. There is a very varied array of opinions that he listens to."
The Edwards administration has generally followed the guidelines of the CDC, in stark contrast to Louisiana’s Southern counterparts. Florida and Texas, governed by Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott respectively, have already lifted their mask mandates.
Efforts to remove Governor Edwards from office due to his safety mandates have been unsuccessful. A recall petition did not get enough signatures to continue forward. Today, every Louisianian over the age of 16 is eligible for the vaccine.
"There is no other governor I would want at the helm during an event like this," Dr. Kanters continues. "He really is health-minded and data-driven."
Governor Edwards recently announced that Louisiana will keep the mask mandate but other restrictions will be significantly laxed. Large gatherings can occur at 50% capacity and bars are allowed to open.