Editorial – Delegate Wright has some explaining to do

Published 8:24 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn justifiably eviscerated local Delegate Tommy Wright Tuesday after Wright allegedly did not report that he tested positive for COVID-19 a week after meeting in open session of the General Assembly.

“The House of Delegates convened in-person at the Stuart C. Siegel Center in Richmond only seven days before Delegate Wright reportedly received this positive test result. Delegate Wright was present at that in-person meeting on August 18th,” a release from Filler-Corn said. “Given the known incubation period for COVID -19, it is possible that Delegate Wright could have exposed his fellow delegates, Capitol police, clerk staff, press and all those that were in attendance at the Siegel Center that day.”

We have heard nothing from Wright in defense of himself, or to offer an explanation as to why no notice was given of a potential COVID-19 infection to 98 of the commonwealth’s key leaders from across the state. One would think that the fact he was at a meeting of the General Assembly would come up in contact tracing interviews.

“This lack of transparency when it comes to this highly contagious disease is incredibly troubling,” the release from Filler-Corn said. “Every delegate and individual at the Siegel Center on August 18th had a right to know of Delegate Wright’s reported positive test for their safety, their family’s safety and the safety of their communities.”

Wright has not said anything to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, who asked for comment for their story on the matter, or to our own Titus Mohler who has now reached out to Wright on more than one occasion.

This is not a difference of opinion on gun rights, abortion or state finances. This is not about being a Republican, a Virginian or even an American. This is about being a good human being. Filler-Corn’s accusation that Wright tested positive but did not inform those in the General Assembly is a question to the heart of Wright’s character.

It’s not like Wright didn’t tell anyone. He reportedly told his church about the positive test, but not the General Assembly. Why? Why would he not tell those 98 other delegates who had to the potential to spread the illness to every nook and cranny in Virginia? That’s the question we need answered by Wright, who has thankfully recovered from the illness and returned to work after a short time away.

Wright has been critical of the speaker’s virtual sessions in his weekly column but by not disclosing his test result, Wright does nothing but prove the speaker’s point that the pandemic is too serious of a threat for the General Assembly to meet in person.

This is not the Tommy Wright we know. While we can agree or disagree on his political positions, there has never had reason to question his character or his treatment of fellow humans, until now.

Wright needs to explain the situation, or apologize to all those affected. But so far there has been nothing but silence from Wright.

We are waiting for an explanation.