CTLN Opinion+: Paul H. Mounds Jr

The Chief of Staff to Governor Ned Lamont discusses COVID-19 lessons learned

One of the least gratuitous jobs in public service is the chief of staff position. It requires juggling of responsibilities and duties. It is a job that requires experience in public service and for which the person holding the position is never publicly acknowledged. 

Paul H. Mounds Jr has the responsibility of Chief of Staff to governor Ned Lamont. He took the position in Feb 2020 weeks before the state shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Connecticut. On top of the other responsibilities in the office of the governor, Mounds has also been an integral part of the success the state has seen in addressing the virus after the initial outbreak.

We spoke to the Chief of staff and discussed the lessons learned by the governor’s office during the initial outbreak in March and the transparency of the governor’s office in addressing concerns the public may have with current COVID-19 guidelines. 

As the first black man to hold his position, Mounds was open and vulnerable while discussing the effects of the virus on the Black and Latino population in Connecticut and the necessity to close the economic and healthcare gap in the state. 

Connecticut is one of the states with the lowest rate of coronavirus cases in the country. The Chief of Staff attributes that to the people working with the governor and the collaborative effort with other states to be in sync with social distancing guidelines, in our conversation he says “the virus does not have borders.” 

At a coronavirus briefing, Governor Ned Lamont said COVID-19 numbers showed the highest positivity rate the state has seen since the spring in Connecticut. The state’s positivity rate is 7.13%. With over 66,000 tests performed since Wednesday, Dec. 2,  a total of 4,751 came back positive.

While the rate of positive cases is lower in Connecticut compared, the number of cases is rising. The concerns of the medical community and the governor’s office in the state require that we follow the guidelines in place during this holiday season to reduce the spread.  For information, financial assistance, and questions about the current covid-19 guidelines visit the state’s covid response website. 

(Cover Photo: CTNewsJunkie)


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