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Governor discusses recent protests in Kansas and coronavirus issues

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly discussed the protests that have been going on in Kansas and across the nation after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

She said her heart goes out to the family and friends of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

“Racial inequality is not new,” said Kelly. “The outrage and protests unleashed across the nation last weekend are not sparked solely by police brutality. Institutional racism exists throughout our society, our economy and our laws, from our criminal justice system to our educational institutions to our public health infrastructure.”

Kelly asked elected leaders to acknowledge failure dealing with racism and to give it the attention it deserves.

“It’s time that we listen to those voices in our marginalized communities, speak out against injustice and actively address the roots of these issues in our neighborhoods, in our workplaces, and in our public institutions,” she said.

Kelly said she believes most law enforcement officers in Kansas are as outraged as she is by what happened in Minnesota.

“I pledge to Kansans, especially Kansans of color, that I will not allow these injustices to fade into the next media cycle,” she said. “We’re going to have these tough conversations in our state. We’re going to confront these painful issues, and we’re finally going to treat this as if lives depend upon it, because they do.”

The governor also talked about the special session of the Kansas Legislature that begins Wednesday. Kelly called the special session after vetoing a bill that made changes to the Kansas Emergency Management Act.

“While the bill included some sensible provisions related to our emergency response, it was laden with problems,” said Kelly. “I called the Kansas Legislature back with a request that they send me a better bill.”

She said she is optimistic that it will be sorted out during the special session. She said there appears to be a good faith effort on both sides.

Dr. Lee Norman, the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), also spoke during the news conference.

The KDHE announced Monday that Kansas has topped 10,000 cases of coronavirus in the state. The new total is 10,011 with 217 deaths.

Despite the increase, Norman said Kansas is doing well in the fight against coronavirus.

He said the rate of the increase is slowing down. But he also said that people need to stay vigilant, stay at home, practice social distancing, wear masks, and wash your hands.

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