John Bel Edwards speaks at Marbury Ethics Lecture

By Thomas Stodghill, IV

Louisiana Tech’s College of Business hosted the 15th Annual Marbury Lecture Series in memory of William Ardis Marbury Jr. and Virginia Lomax Marbury. The event was kicked off by the dean of the College of Business, Dr. Chris Marten.

The guest speaker for the conference on Sept. 28 was Gov. John Bel Edwards, who discussed via Zoom ethical leadership amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edwards talked about some things he did before the pandemic started, such as expanding Medicaid and taking ethics training, which he said is required for all state employees.

When the pandemic started, he said he wanted to make decisions that would balance everyone’s decisions, including deciding who is an essential worker, what businesses are essential, dealing with a food crisis and Internet access.

He also talked about that Louisiana was open about the disparity of the COVID-19 pandemic in African American communities. He discussed that they were more affected than other groups.

“Be honest about what you do and do not know, and be transparent,” Edwards said.

He talked about listening to health officials about the COVID-19 pandemic and the mask mandate in Louisiana, which he said he was thankful had returned.

He also spent his time talking about preparing for hurricanes Laura and Ida, which affected Louisiana greatly. He believed that making decisions about natural disasters need to be just right.

“A good decision timely made is better than a perfect decision at a poor time,” Edwards said.

After his main discussion, the floor was open to questions. People asked about evacuating hospitals and potential jobs in Louisiana.

He said that he is meeting with people to hopefully bring more jobs to Louisiana, bringing up examples of new plants in Columbia and East Baton Rouge Parishes.

He also acknowledged the decision to end unemployment benefits in Louisiana. He accepts that although that was a controversial decision, he could not have expected another surge of COVID-19.

He concluded his time with some advice. He said he believes in making decisions timely that will help you sleep at night and acknowledging your mistakes.

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