CT Governor Ned Lamont is in Danbury today (8/25/20) for a press conference to address the recent spike in COVID-19 positives in the city. Ahead of the media engagement, the Governor called the Ethan and Lou Show.

Lou: But this is not a drill, joining the show now, the Governor of the great State of Connecticut, Ned "The Head" Lamont, Ned...

Ethan: Hi Governor

Lamont: Hey Ethan, gotta say I love the Doors. Keep playing them.

Ethan: OK

Lou: You are headed to Danbury right now Governor, tell us why you are headed here?

Lamont: Yeah, I don't want to be a downer but your COVID infection rate has spiked up quite a bit in Danbury. We're less than 1 percent around the rest of the state and right now it looks like you're about 7 percent and it's not going down. So, we are bringing in the troops, we're doing all the testing, we're doing the track and trace, we're doing everything we can to narrow the scope of this, but we gotta be really careful. And, you've delayed opening the schools which I understand.

Lou: Yeah, Dr. Sal Pascarella, the Superintendent of Danbury Schools has decided to go all distance learning and then reexamine in a couple of weeks, I'm assuming you support that decision?

Lamont: I do, I think it's the responsible thing to do.

Lou: Mayor Mark Boughton supports it too, he said that this morning on the show. Are we making stuff up as we go here? Because I know we're all learning together. But, what are the, when this thing started to happen, we heard surfaces, then masks, then no masks, then masks again what is the latest from your scientists or your doctors, what are they saying?

Lamont: Well we're 100% more knowledgeable than we were five months ago when we were, ya know, we were being told to ingest Clorox and Hydroxychloroquine and stuff but don't worry about the masks. We're way beyond that. The scientists are taking the lead, we know what we've got to do, we know how important testing is, we know how important it is to quarantine people if they've been exposed to somebody, we know how key it is that if you were exposed, tell us who else you were in contact with just so we can have a little better track and trace. And, I think everybody in Connecticut now really understands how important the mask is.

Lou: What do you identify as why, maybe Danbury is spiking as opposed to the rest of the State?

Lamont: I can tell you, looking around, I can tell you folks coming in from infected areas, be it other parts of the country or other countries, have been a bit of an igniter. Parties are obviously an igniter as well, we're really watching that carefully. Western Connecticut has had to slow down their opening as well for the same reason.

Lou: Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont joining the show coming to Danbury to discuss the COVID-19 spike. While we have you, I have been critical of some of your moves and I think there is a way out. I mean, you hired your rapper cousin to be your "body-man" and the toll plan thing went on way, way too long. I think if you stay on Eversource, you can get back in the good graces of folks like me. Your thoughts?

Lamont: Ha, Well um, I appreciate that very good advice, we're gonna hit Eversource hard. It's just incredible to me that they get a ninety and a half percent rate of return whether they do a great job or a bad job. That's not the way it works anywhere else in the world. That's not the way it should work with utility regulation. so, we're going to follow this really carefully and make sure they are held accountable.

Lou: They are a monopoly, correct?

Lamont: They are a monopoly.

Lou: How do you break that up? Mayor Mark was telling us it was the deregulation plan from some years back that led to this problem but all best intentions were in mind. How do you break up a monopoly with this kind of power?

Lamont: I think you regulate it, I'm not sure breaking it up works. You can have five different sets of wires on the poles, I don't know if that makes any sense, in fact I know it doesn't make any sense. You can break up Eversource and have lots of local utility companies, that has an intuitive appeal but there are some real economies to scale to having an extended network out through there. What I think you do, do is you regulate these guys. You say, if you don't get that road cleared in forty eight hours, if you don't get that power on within fifty two hours, there are penalties to pay or your rate of return is going to be reduced. Right now, they don't have all the necessary incentives in place to do the right thing.

Lou: Did you get a chance to see the Republican National Convention, Night 1?

Lamont: I watched it, it was pretty good TV.

Ethan and Lou: (laughter)

Ethan: One way to put it, yeah.

Lou: Did you see Kimberly Guilfoyle's speech?

Lamont: Yes, Kimberly, you had a microphone, you're OK. I think she was shouting to the American people.

Ethan: How long was she on, shouting?

Lou: It felt like forty five minutes but I'm pretty sure it was just about three to four minutes.

Lamont: You know, she used to be married to Gavin Newsome who is the Governor, Democratic, Liberal, Democratic Governor of California?

Lou: Used to be married is the operative word, the operative thing. She was probably screaming at him. I gotta wish you luck this afternoon, we're hearing that there is going to be protests in the city against the distance learning in Danbury, CT. Which, I personally don't understand. I'm not a person who thinks that this is a giant Government conspiracy or a hoax so, good luck to you!

Lamont: They want their kids to be able to go to school is what you're saying?

Lou: Correct.

Lamont: For in classroom education?

Lou: Correct.

Lamont: Well, look, I'm 99 percent on board with them, I think Danbury may be a unique situation. We, should put this off a little bit until we get this spike behind us.

Ethan: We are behind you 100 percent, we really are.


Lamont: Thanks Ethan, appreciate it you guys.

Lou: Alright, good luck today.

Ethan: Thanks Governor.

Lamont: (SILENCE)

To listen to the interview, see below:

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