If former Gov. Robert Bentley were in charge of Alabama’s COVID-19 response, he would put an emphasis on working with local officials, especially with regards to any efforts to raise the state’s vaccination rate.
During an interview with Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5, Bentley, a board-certified dermatologist who continues to practice in Tuscaloosa, acknowledged the “complicated” nature of the pandemic but also cautioned against blaming those that remain unvaccinated.
However, he also encouraged vaccinations, adding individuals should base any medical decisions on those that they trust.
“It’s very complicated, and I understand that,” he said. “I’m not trying to tell somebody else how I would do things. But I do have ideas on how I would handle it. First, I wouldn’t blame the unvaccinated because you can’t pit one side against the other. It’s not a blame situation. Look, I deal with patients who have to make decisions on whether or not they want a cancer removed, or this or that. And they have to make the decision. But you just have to give them good advice, and they have to trust whoever gives them advice. Now look, you can’t give this advice to Fox News or CNN or places like that. You really need to listen to people who know what they’re talking about, their physician, primarily. I just think we need leadership on this issue. This is a state issue. It is not a federal issue.”
“If I were governor, I would be out all over the state,” Bentley continued. “I would set up some task forces on a state level. But I would work with the locals, also — especially the local doctors, the local nursing situation, the local doctors’ association and the hospitals. But I would also work with the local officials, and some of the most important ones are county commissioners and mayors and our elected officials out there. So, I would work with them. I would even use the state health department, but I would be in charge of it, not the health department. And then, also, I would even use my national guard if I needed to. But what I would try to do for the people is get their trust, and I would give them good advice, scientific advice on whether or not these things are safe or not. When you read Facebook, or you watch the news, you really don’t get the truth because these people are not interested in the truth. They’re interested in ratings. You need somebody they would trust, and that’s what I would try to do as governor. I would be out all over the state, especially in areas we know there is a spike in this Delta virus.”
Bentley indicated he was a proponent of vaccinations but discouraged listeners from putting too much stock in National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has commanded the lion’s share of the spotlight.
“Again, I would encourage everybody to please get vaccinated — those that are not vaccinated,” he added. “Please look at it. And look at real science on it. Don’t listen to Dr. Fauci, and don’t listen to some of these other people.”
@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.