FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Gov. Andy Beshear took time during his Monday COVID-19 press briefing to condemn armed militia members at the Capitol on Saturday, saying, “We will not be bullied.”
The governor talked about a similarity between the U.S. Capitol attack and Saturday’s protest.
“One of the ways that we absolutely know what some individuals intended to do in terms of kidnapping and/or harming elected officials, were the zip-ties,” he said.
He showed a news photo of a man at the Frankfort rally who was carrying a large quantity of zip-ties. “I believe when asked he said, ‘just in case.’ These are not the actions of people who believe in this country and in the rule of law. It’s people who believe they can take the law into their own hands, and bully and intimidate other individuals. We, here in Kentucky, will not be bullied.”
Beshear also described an incident that happened the day after the Saturday protest. “Someone vandalized our own [State Public Health Commissioner] Dr. [Steven] Stack’s home, spray painting, ‘COVID is PCR fraud’ on his mailbox. This wasn’t about what was spray painted on the mailbox, this was about those individuals, those bullies, trying to create terror by saying ‘we know where you live. We know how to get to you.’ We will not let that happen.”
The governor noted that it was he, not Dr. Stack, who made the calls on COVID-related restrictions. “Trying to create fear in his family is the lowest form of low. So, for the cowards out there that did it, we’re working to find you. It is not acceptable. This is not how we act in our society and in a democracy.”
He also said he’s heard the FBI has been monitoring chatter that there are attacks planned on all 50 state capitols as well as another on the U.S. Capitol. “We will not allow that to happen. We will protect these buildings, these grounds, and everyone in them, and we are ready to do whatever necessary, Kentucky State Police and others, to ensure the safety of everyone here.”
Beshear talked about measures state lawmakers are taking that would reduce his powers to deal with the pandemic.
“We’ve seen some bills move through the General Assembly that attempt to create new ways of addressing the coronavirus,” he said. “One bill that passed [House Bill 1], attempted to put U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines into law as the law that could be enforced. Today I received a letter from Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director, cautioning against this.”
The letter stated, “I want to make it clear that CDC guidance should not be interpreted as regulation; rather, they are meant as recommendations. It should be used in consideration for specific state and/or local regulations, but this guidance is meant to be flexible and adaptable. It is not meant to be prescriptive or interpreted as standards that can be regulated.”
Beshear says the CDC has consistently backed the effectiveness of his restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in restaurants and bars, gyms, schools and other venues.