Gov. Andy Beshear is under intense pressure, and he hasn’t cracked often.
He cracked during Monday’s press conference when asked about how his latest advisory and recommendations would affect youth sports.
That question, he immediately interpreted, was about his son.
Beshear’s 11-year-old boy had been playing baseball until the governor pulled him from a tournament last weekend — prior to a game he was supposed to pitch — because he deemed it an unsafe environment in which COVID-19 guidelines were not being heeded.
Beshear revealed that someone had surreptitiously snapped photographs of his son playing baseball over the last two weeks and posted them online.
“I hope everybody out there knows that’s something you should never do, no matter what, no matter who’s the parent of that kid. That is really wrong,” an emotional Beshear said.
Beshear is right, but the governor is in a proverbial pickle.
If he allows “low-touch” youth sports, such as baseball, to proceed, yet he limits social gatherings to 10, that creates a mixed message.
In baseball, slang for runners on base is “ducks on the pond.” Beshear needs to have his ducks in a row before making such announcements.
It makes no sense to limit social gatherings to 10 yet not address restaurants, churches, non-essential retail stores and so on. It creates confusion. To what exactly does this advisory apply?
Here’s what happened: Beshear got scared … and understandably so. The state announced 979 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The shocking number magnified Beshear’s daily burden tenfold. He, in our opinion, truly cares about the people of the Commonwealth and is trying to make prompt, correct decisions. However, on the two major announcements on Monday — reinstating the 10-person social gathering limit and recommending residents who have traveled to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas to self-quarantine for 14 days — he was 1 for 2. The latter makes sense. The 10-person limit was reinstated hastily.
Beshear must let the mask mandate — which has been installed since July 10 but was challenged by the attorney general and the courts — take full effect; and then he can assess results from there. Granted, 979 is a staggering number; so we understand why Beshear made the call, but it appears he wasn’t ready to answer all the questions accompanying the 10-person limit reinstatement.