Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said those that are skeptical about his leadership should take a breather and analyze what’s going on with the rest of the world and consider how lucky people are in the CNMI.
In response to a question during a radio press briefing last week, Torres said skeptics should take note of the actions he and the administration have been taken during this COVID-19 pandemic and how those actions have helped keep people in the CNMI safe.
The governor said no one hears him going on and on about what he himself has done. “But I, too, have put my life and my family’s life on the edge,” he added.
Torres said he was out there every day for every shipment that came in at the onset and at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I remember my kids asking me, ‘Dad why are you going out there? You are telling everybody to stay home why you are going out?’” he said. Torres explained to his children that their father is in a different position. Torres said if first responders are out there, he wants to make sure that they know that their governor is out there with them.
“And I’m not hiding in my house and waiting six months later and then going out and start criticizing. No, I’m out there with them, whether it’s with the nurses, doctors, or first responders,” the governor said.
He said the community knows that he put in time and effort to address this pandemic for the community and, as the lieutenant governor of then-governor Eloy Inos, he was also handling Super Typhoon Yutu’s recovery in 2015.
Then, right as the CNMI’s tourism industry was starting to boom—“Definitely our GDP started to rise amongst the world”—that’s when the CNMI got hit by Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu.
Torres said people saw the CNMI bounce back with the help of federal partners and its friendship with the armed services and reservists. “We handled Super Typhoon Yutu and Mangkhut extremely well,” he said.
With this pandemic, Torres said, the CNMI has only one shot to do it right. He said they made it right in the beginning with bold actions—”actions that I made and the administration and, of course, everyone that’s involved.”
Torres said he also protected those that are skeptical or are criticizing his administration during this pandemic. “I’m happy to do so,” the governor added.