Governor Janet Mills issued a video statement today marking one year since Maine recorded its first case of COVID-19.
“One year ago today, Maine recorded its first case of COVID-19,” said Governor Mills. “Today, let us pay tribute to those we have lost and let us rededicate ourselves to protecting our health, to protecting the health of our loved ones and our neighbors, and the health of fellow citizens. We will prevail and we will emerge a stronger people and a stronger state.”
A complete transcript of the Governor’s video statement as prepared for delivery is as follows:
On March 12, 2020 — a year ago — the State of Maine recorded our first case of COVID-19. You know, we have suffered great hardship and loss in the last twelve months as a state and a nation, but the greatest grief is borne by the families whose loved ones are no longer with us because of the deadly coronavirus.
Today, we pause to remember the more than 527,000 Americans, including more than 720 Mainers, we have lost over the last year. Each was a life lived with meaning and purpose, a life that we honor today. And as always, we pray for good health of Maine people and for the swift recovery of all those who are still battling this virus.
During World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt told the American people, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you look fear in the face. You say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” she said. During this pandemic, with strength and courage, the people of Maine have learned to do what they thought they could not do. And we are getting through this.
Nurses, bus drivers, CNAs, teachers and ed techs, volunteers, business owners, working parents, delivery drivers, grocery clerks, fishermen, haulers and farmers, and many, many more unsung heroes saved lives and kept our state moving forward.
This pandemic is hard, many people are tired and frustrated. I understand that. But we are turning the corner with courage, patience and compassion and good medical science on our side.
And it is because of you, the Maine people, because of your continued hope and perseverance, that we are winning this war against COVID-19.
Already, we have vaccinated tens of thousands of people in our state and we’re working day and night to get shots into the arms of all Maine people who want the vaccine.
Today, let us pay tribute to those we have lost and let us rededicate ourselves to protecting our health, to protecting the health of our loved ones and our neighbors, and the health of fellow citizens. We will prevail and we will emerge a stronger people and a stronger state.
Just keep the faith and stay safe. We’ll get through this together. Thank you.