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There’s been a lot of fear circulating around COVID19 lately, and it’s split between fear of the virus itself and fear of the unintended consequences of the lasting shutdown. I, Eli Clemmer, candidate for the U.S. Congress in the 2nd district, realize that there was good reason to be cautious with something so unknown and deadly. However, the harm of forcing people to stay in their homes, close their businesses, and delay necessary medical procedures, among other hardships, is competing with the tragedy of the disease itself.

As a state, we need to balance the scales between the risks associated with COVID19 and the risks associated with shutting down businesses and people’s lives. Playing it safe and staying home might lessen the risk of physical illness, but mental health has taken a dive for many. People have been trapped in abusive or dysfunctional homes living less active and healthy lives. Worse still, people with health needs deemed “elective” cannot move forward with necessary procedures and are left in pain or with disabilities as a result. I have heard stories of families being kept away from their loved ones in hospitals, denied the emotional support vital to recovery.

There are true and tried alternatives. Sweden, for instance, maintained a balance strategy by providing official guidelines for safety while not forcing businesses to close but kept vital safeguards in place. Tiered approaches to reopening have also been suggested and implemented, allowing those at minimal risk to continue with their livelihoods and offering greater protection to those at higher risk. We are seeing great successes from other states further along in their reopening, while still able to lower the COVID19 rates. Our freedom, our liberty, never should have been under attack in the first place. 

America is an educated society and I choose to trust American individuals to follow what is best for their own health and livelihoods. The people of New Hampshire do not want and never have wanted the government to dictate their lives: “Live Free” is in the state motto, not a “nanny state” as the moniker goes. I, like most people of New Hampshire, believe in the words “Live Free” and the right to make our own life choices. I believe this is a time to trust the people–and not big government–to make the right decisions for their well-being and the health of our communities. New Hampshire needs leaders respecting liberty and freedom in government, and as a candidate for U.S. Congress in the second district, I promise to fight for just that.

Live Free,

Eli D. Clemmer, Candidate New Hampshire 2nd Congressional District

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