Colorado State Rep. Rod Pelton (R-Cheyenne Wells) told a radio host Monday that he plans to push the Colorado legislature to “really look at some of those powers” used by Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) recently to battle COVID-19 and “start to roll some of that back.”
“I would like to, when we go back–it’ll maybe have to wait ’til next session– really look at some of these powers that are in these declarations, and start to roll some of that back, because right now, CDPHE (the health department) and the governor are up there making all these decisions, and kinda have the latitude within these orders to do that, and that’s not right,” Pelton said on The Big Morning Show with John Waters on KFTM Fort Morgan. “I think the legislature needs to be involved to keep the governor in his own lane, and we’re just not able to do that right now.”
Health and disease experts in Colorado and nationally say that group gatherings and normal social interactions have not been safe in Colorado and elsewhere, leading Polis to institute his stay-at-home order, social-distancing, and other public-health orders.
It’s not clear how the legislature could act to limit Polis’ powers to protect public health.
On the show, Pelton discussed how the government, both local and nationwide, and citizens are handling the pandemic.
Asked by Waters if he was currently quarantined, Pelton replied, “If the governor’s listening, yes. But otherwise, no, not really.”
The conservative Republican said that Polis and CDPHE are using the pandemic as a social experiment.
“I think there’s a little bit of a social experiment going on here, seeing just how far [government officials] can push the people, what–what they will tolerate, and you know, when this happens again, is it gonna be that much easier to go a little further, or is it gonna be harder, you know?” said Pelton.
Listen to the full interview below:
Pelton isn’t alone in fearing government stay-at-home orders have gone too far.
Conservatives, from Glenn Beck to Colorado state Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R-Sterling), have claimed the government is using this opportunity to gain control over citizens.
Over a month ago, Beck released his own YouTube video analyzing the American government’s response to COVID-19, as well as citing politicians’ statements.
“The politicians, and those who really want control, they are gauging our reactions: ‘Will the American people really let us get away with it?'” said Beck during the video.
Sonnenberg submitted an op-ed to ColoradoPolitics that expresses a similar theme.
“We now have a shortage of resources, scared citizens, and a police state in which the government controls every aspect of our lives,” writes Sonnenberg. “The coronavirus has created conditions that could fool our younger generations into thinking that communism seems like freedom; at least with communism people were still free to leave their homes!”
“Our leaders are trying to take control over every aspect of our lives right now,” Sonnenberg continues. “Our stake in liberty and freedom is being whittled down little by little, and soon there will be only a sliver left. It’s like we’re getting communism on the installment plan!”
Colorado House Democrats and Cheyenne County Democrats could not be reached for comment in response to Pelton’s statements.