Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin complained Tuesday that canceling classes on a day wind chill was forecast below -30 degrees Fahrenheit was a sign the United States is “getting soft.”
“Come on, now,” Bevin said during a guest appearance on WHAS’s Terry Meiners Show. “I mean, there’s no ice going with it or any snow.”
Snow began to fall hours later.
“What happens to America?” he continued. “We’re getting soft, Terry. We’re getting soft.”
According to experts, bare skin exposed to Wednesday’s forecasted temperatures could develop frostbite within 30 minutes. At least three deaths had been attributed to the growing deep-freeze.
“It’s better to err on the side of being safe, and I’m being only slightly facetious, but it does concern me a little bit that in America, on this and any number of other fronts, we’re sending messages to our young people that, if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard,” Bevin continued. “And that just isn’t reality. It just isn’t.”
Three Rivers Local School District superintendent Craig Hockenberry said he thought of the intense danger to children who walk to school and children who could be caught in a bus breakdown when he decided to cancel classes.
More than 300 schools and churches announced closures and delays Wednesday in light of the cold. The weather event known as the polar vortex threatened to plunge parts of the country into the worst cold they had experienced in years.