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Gov. Polis discusses state's coronavirus response, managing family life through unprecedented crisis

Posted at 9:58 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 07:55:01-04

DENVER -- Gov. Jared Polis spoke exclusively to Denver7’s Anne Trujillo on Wednesday night about his state's handling of the coronavirus response.

One of the first things the governor addressed was a Wednesday afternoon news conference, where a reporter asked him to weigh in on the people comparing Colorado’s COVID-19 response to Nazism.

“It’s just so absurd,” Polis said. “I did lose cousins — distant cousins — in the Holocaust. It’s so absurd to even compare the greatest war crime of the 20th century ... to the steps that Colorado or America is taking to save lives.”

The second year of Polis’ administration has been defined by his response to the novel coronavirus. His stay-at-home order was one of the first in the nation, and he said he believes the commitment to social distancing is helping to flatten the curve.

“This is a difficult time for Coloradans,” Polis said. “It’s a difficult time for Americans. It’s a difficult time for humans. It’s really bringing all of us together in making sacrifices with knowing that there’s a light at the end of that tunnel.”

Trujillo asked how he has managed that.

“It is crazy,” Polis said. “I was able to take most of Easter Sunday off. I think I only had five or six calls, I had most of the day off with my family. But yeah, I think the people of Colorado want the governor to be burning the candle at both ends. I am.”

Trujillo pressed Polis about when the state will reopen.

“We need to do it a bit longe and things are not gonna return to anything close to the way they were while the virus is still with us," he said. "We’re gonna get through this together. Most of us are gonna be just fine. And we’re gonna make sure that we do everything that we can to protect people in Colorado, and have as quick an economic recovery as we can.”

Polis acknowledged that the pandemic is having life-altering affects on all Coloradans, including his own kids who are 8 and 5 years old, respectively.

“It’s gonna be interesting for these kids, as they grow up, they’ll always remember that year, that school year that wasn’t or that graduation that wasn’t or those few months of school where they had to do it online,” Polis said. “It’s gonna stand out. I think it’s important that parents project confidence, caution, but not fear to their kids, that’s what Marlon and I try to do."

Polis said over $11 million has been donated to helpcoloradonow.org during the pandemic. He said that money is already helping Coloradans in need.

And he admitted that it’s tough to slow down with so much going on around him.

“There’s really not much time for sleep,” Polis said. “I think I’m just so exhausted I sleep well. I don’t get enough of it because I’m really burning the candle at both ends and working late and waking up early. I am. But when I do hit the pillow, it’s lights out."