KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he does not take “personal responsibility” for those who have died after contracting COVID-19.
“I don’t even know where you come up with that question of personal responsibility as governor of the state of Missouri when you’re talking about a virus,” Parson said in response to a question asked at the end of his Tuesday press briefing. “That’s no different than the flu virus or do I feel guilty because we have car accidents and people die every day? No, I don’t feel guilty about that.”
Following Parson’s remarks, the Missouri Democratic Party issued a statement requesting the governor apologize.
MDP Spokesperson Kevin Donohue said in the statement that the briefing “represented a new low” for Parson.
“The governor’s refusal to take any responsibility for the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his decision to compare COVID-19 deaths to the flu and car crashes is deeply offensive and represents a stunning lack of compassion,” the statement read: “Parson has insulted the 966 Missourians who have lost their lives to this pandemic. The governor needs to immediately apologize for his callous and offensive comments.”
As the state reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic, Parson has said during his weekly press briefings that precautions to avoid contracting the virus come down to personality responsibility. The state has encouraged, but not required, the use of face masks and social distancing.