Trump resists national shutdown, leaving it up to states
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the new coronavirus despite his administration’s projections that tens of thousands of Americans are likely to be killed by the disease. One by one, though, states are increasingly pushing shutdown orders of their own.
Trump said earlier this week that he and members of his administration had discussed issuing a stay-at-home order but it was “pretty unlikely” for now. The White House later released “sobering” new projections that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will likely succumb to the coronavirus even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday the nation’s federalist system leaves much of the authority on how to properly respond to catastrophes to individual state governors and local officials.
“We trust the governors and the mayors to understand their people and understand whether or not they feel like they can trust the people in their states to make the right decisions,” Adams said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
On Wednesday alone, three more states — Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania — added or expanded their stay-at-home orders.
The lack of a unified, 50-state response also collides with evidence emerging that coronavirus infections are being spread by people who have no clear symptoms, complicating efforts to gain control of the pandemic.