Kentucky Governor Sticks to Vow to Quarantine Easter Churchgoers

Those headed to Easter Sunday services in Kentucky should prepare to have their license plate numbers recorded.

Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Saturday he’s not backing off his promise to record license plate numbers of people going to church this weekend despite backlash from some conservatives in the state.

Beshear said Saturday that he still thinks some churches in the state are planning to hold in-person services—and that he’s worried each service could cause as many as six deaths, based on previous outbreaks.

“I’m willing to make unpopular decisions regardless of what it means for me in the future if I can save 42 people,” Beshear said. “I would give up being politically popular, which I’ve only been for about three weeks, in a nanosecond to save 42 lives.”

Beshear earlier this week said seven churches in Kentucky are expected to resist his request to not hold in-person services on Easter Sunday. He said the license plate numbers of people attending those services will be given to state health departments, who will later order them to quarantine for 14 days.

Kentucky Attorney General Danial Cameron (R) tweeted Friday he’s “deeply concerned” that police in the state are being used to single out churchgoers.

“Directing a uniformed presence at church services to record the identity of worshippers and to force a quarantine, while doing no such thing for the people gathered at retail stores or obtaining an abortion, is the definition of arbitrary,” he tweeted.

Beshear had previously threatened to disband Easter services.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ruoff in Washington at aruoff@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Melissa B. Robinson at mrobinson@bloomberglaw.com, Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com

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