'We've got to work together': Gov. Cooper says NC voters sent a bipartisan message to state, federal leaders

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In a one-on-one interview with ABC11, Gov. Roy Cooper discussed his state of emergency stemming from flooding damage, a spike in COVID-19 cases in rural counties, and his takeaway from voters in the 2020 election.

Cooper expressed concern about a continued flooding threat from rising rivers and the impact of 430 state-maintained road closures.

"This has just been a record amount of rain for the month of November," Cooper said. "We're deeply concerned and still engaged. We know that the Department of Transportation is out inspecting, and repairing and doing everything they can to get things back the way they should be."

Cooper also discussed the state's Department of Health and Human Services report that focused on rising COVID-19 cases in rural counties.

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Nearly twice as many new COVID-19 cases have been reported from rural counties in North Carolina compared to urban or suburban counties, according to a report released by health officials this week.

The governor, who is from Rocky Mount, expressed hope that everyone will wear a mask.

"I hope that now that these elections are over, that we can all come together more behind the real science," Cooper said. "We really need to get people bought into this, and I'm going to do everything that I can. I'm talking to community leaders, we're talking to faith leaders, we're talking to retailers. We want everyone that people look up to and respect to set this good example for everybody."

The governor also believes voters sent a clear message to Democratic and Republican leaders about the future.

"The people have voted for divided government, both at the state and federal levels," Cooper said. "They sent a message to all of us: 'Hey, you know, we've elected both of you.' We've got to work together for the common good."
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