Live from Virginia Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed the 84th District of Virginia’s House of Delegates member Glenn Davis to the show.
During the interview, Davis weighed in on the new Zoom meeting structure for the House of Delegates in Virginia revealing that it was inefficient and how it could have easily continued at the basketball court in D.C. as it was once before. Later Davis questioned why the governor has not allowed the Virginia Beach area to open up for Labor Day weekend.
Fredericks: Joining us now, House Delegates member from Virginia Beach Glenn Davis. Delegate Davis, great to have you.
Davis: Hi. Good morning John. How are you doing out there?
Fredericks: Now what time do you have to log into your what is it? You go on the computer and you have to log in to get into the session. How does this work now Glenn Davis?
Davis: Well we don’t have a session today. I have an appropriations committee meeting today, so that’s in the afternoon, John. I think there are a couple of other committee meetings prior to. But yes, I was on the laptop…(Inaudible talk)
Fredericks: How is that working? Are you able to get debate? Or are you able to ask questions? How does this work?
Davis: John, well the state IT staff has done a great job keeping all this stuff together. But it’s not. (Inaudible talk) I kept getting kicked out and then couldn’t get back in. I took a screenshot and the whole request to speak button wouldn’t work when I tried to use it. John and Zoom is not meant for this. I look at the Senate which is still meeting in person. They are very efficient. They are doing it safely. And what we’re doing is obviously at the level that we had in mind.
Fredericks: OK. So when you first went, when were you first gathered when they made this decision to go online? Where was the House gathered the first time?
Davis: We were at the basketball arena over at D.C.’s campus.
Fredericks: Right. Was there plenty of room in order to do business and have masks on? could it have been done in a safe manner?
Davis: There were six feet plus to spread out the desks. It went perfectly. It could have been duplicated easily. But that was not the desire of the party in charge.
Fredericks: Why did they want to go to an online format when they could have met safely like the Senate is doing in the Science Museum. I’ve got one of our guys from The Virginia Star who goes over there every day when they are in session. He says it’s perfectly fine. What was the driving motivation behind Eileen Caucus of the Corn and the others in leadership? Why would they want so desperately to get this on a video instead of in person?
Davis: John you know, I don’t know. And everyone may have their own motivations for having this thing online. I mean there were probably some. You know there were a couple of Delegates that didn’t realize that you actually lived up there for two months when you got elected that they didn’t know what days they had to come up for right? I think some of them didn’t have the time during a month up there in Richmond.
I think others had this overblown idea of the COVID virus. So I think there is going to be a well of things. Obviously we don’t have the same opportunity to make a perceptual statement that we would be able to in the House by getting up and objecting. Having a little bit more of a presence to make our decension known on all these bad bills. And there are a number of other things involved John.
Fredericks: It just seems odd of me how they put the screenshot out of trying to get on and you got kicked out. Then what about the Democrats taking per diem for this? Are they still doing that? Because per diem is supposed to be when you traveled not when you are sitting home in your pajamas.
Davis: Yes. John, our caucus agreed that we were not going to take per diem. I think a couple of Democrats have said no, they are not going to. Even though the overwhelming majority is still doing it. they are still playing this game. Well, we really didn’t mean per diem but we meant this. You get paid to travel. I don’t care what you want to call it.
You get paid to travel and we are not traveling. What we, as a revolving caucus has said it’s always been a tradition that when there are committee meetings that we have to attend to and do things with a commission of committee meetings that there is an additional pay structure to it. Not per diem but pay structure. We get per diem when we travel. And that we are happy to take and have everyone take that additional amount.
Not the per diem because we are not traveling but the additional amounts for being in commissions or committee meetings. But being on the House floor is already something that we are compensated before. And that we should not be taking any type of travel allowance. Whatever you want to call it, per diem. Or what they want to call it today. We should not be taking that because we are sitting on our couches or our kitchen tables.
Fredericks: Unbelievable why they did this. Part of it is stoking the fear. Look we can’t meet because we are all going to die or something. Now we find out with COVID-19 have actually died from COVID-19 that didn’t have underlying health conditions of something else. So people without that died from COVID-19 in an of itself is 9,200 out of 335 million Americans.
That number is under what people die of the flu on an annual basis. It’s kind of incredible all that’s gone on with this Glenn. The 187,000 people of souls we’ve lost as a result of COVID is not to be taken lightly. This is a very serious sickness if you get it and you have those underlying conditions. But it seems like when you look at the CDC study that we could have done a much better job of just focusing on protecting those that were more vulnerable than everybody.
Davis: Well John, you are 100 hundred percent right. I’ll tell you what else is dangerous. Depression is dangerous. Mental health and mental illness are dangerous. John, there has been an increased number of mental health challenges in mental health cases.
There has been an increased number of attempted suicides and unfortunately successful suicides. Domestic assault is up. Whenever you take a family John and you put immediate and enormous stress on them, especially financial, John things are going to blow up a little bit. Especially if they were already bubbling, to begin with.
There have been cases of that. So it’s what I talked about when the COVID first hit. There are two curves. There is the COVID curve. But there is the other curve. The impact that this shutdown has caused. Whether it’s caused the shut down of small business and people losing their jobs.
Whether there are people losing their jobs or people with mental illnesses. And John I’ll tell you, I think we’ve crossed over that interception point of two curves a long time ago. And yes, I think we could have handled this a lot better and not have the situations that we are going to be feeling for years to come with this shutdown.
The governor a month ago took Virginia Beach and shut us down more than any other place. Our restaurants are closing early. They stop serving alcohol early. We have more restrictions on us than other place in Virginia. He said two to three weeks when things get better we’ll let Virginia Beach open back up.
John, we are two percent lower than the rest of Virginia and he hasn’t said a word. And we’re going into this important weekend for our locality and for our region in the year. And that’s Labor Day weekend. We are a tourist city. What the heck is he doing?
Listen to the full show here: