Gov. Chris Sununu and other top New Hampshire officials are visiting Kentucky on Monday to learn more about the COVID-19 surge there and see what lessons they have learned about battling the pandemic.
"Like New Hampshire, Kentucky is a rural state with small cities,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “Today, I joined NH state officials in visiting Kentucky to help inform our decision making in the weeks and months ahead to see how they are handling their COVID surge, how hospitals are managing through this crisis, and to hear what tools they have found to be effective in battling this most recent wave virus.”
Sununu and the other state officials, including Lori Shibinette, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, were scheduled to meet with health care officials at Frankfort Regional Medical Center and the University of Louisville Hospital.
Sununu also met with Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and his team at the State House to hear about the state's most recent coronavirus surge and learn how officials are dealing with it.
Sununu said in a statement that the trip was focused "solely on the medical care of COVID" and that he did not notify or meet with anyone in Kentucky's Congressional delegation during the visit.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party issued a statement Monday seeking to cast doubt on the reason given for Sununu's trip.
“Both Memorial Hospital in Conway and Dartmouth-Hitchcock have announced that they are once again taking emergency measures because of the surge in COVID cases. Why isn’t Chris Sununu visiting them? Or visiting Vermont and Maine, both rural states that have surpassed New Hampshire in vaccinating their citizens, reducing the risk of COVID surges,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley said in a statement. “Sununu needs to answer serious questions about why he is ditching New Hampshire to travel to Mitch McConnell’s home state.”
McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, has reportedly been trying to convince Sununu to run against incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan for U.S. Senate in 2022.