Gov. Edwards addresses the good and bad of 2021
BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) - It’s the end of the year, and Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the state ahead of 2022. The governor talked about the state’s continued recovery from COVID-19 and Hurricane Ida.
Gov. Edwards addressed the state, saying over two million residents have been vaccinated, while half a million residents have received the booster shot. He also touched on coastal protection and restoration efforts made this year across the state.
“Even though 2021 was filled with all the challenges that we mentioned, at the outset of this press conference and many many more, there’re also accomplishments and things that we can certainly be proud of, and things that we can be thankful for,” Edwards said.
After another year of devastating hurricanes, Edwards said that Louisiana deployed more than 2,500 trailers to hurricane victims and announced an $11.3 million housing rehab program in Lake Charles. They are focused on using a large portion of the Community Development Block Grant funding, recently allocated to the state for long-term recovery, towards unmet housing needs. Edwards also mentioned they are making progress with their investment in infrastructure.
“LED landed 34 project wins totaling more than $20 billion in new capital investments. These wins will result in over 4,900 new direct jobs, more than 10,000 new indirect jobs, and about 5,600 retained jobs,” the governor said.
Regarding COVID-19, in spite of the natural disasters and the Delta surge, COVID-19 numbers are lower as compared to last year during the holidays, even after the state confirmed the first cases of the Omicron variant.
“A year ago today, we reported 3,269 new cases as we were going into the week of Christmas. Today, we are reporting 1,025. A year ago today, we had 1,584 in the hospital with COVID-19. Today, we have 196,” Edwards said.
One of the bright spots of this year was the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Of which, Louisiana is slated to receive nearly six billion over the next five years. He ended his speech asking Louisiana to pray with him for a better and brighter year in 2022.
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