BREAKING: Trump confirms he does not plan to issue shelter-in-place order nationwide
CONTINUING COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS
By Tim Darnell and Stephanie Toone
April 1, 2020
In a news conference Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump said he was committed to defeating the “horrible virus” plaguing the country. Still, he said he did not plan to order sheltering in place across the country.
Trump said it would be difficult and uneven to arbitrarily call for all states to remain home for coming weeks. He used the example of states in the Midwest not being as widely affected by the coronavirus. It would be unfair, he said Wednesday, to edict all residents stay home in states that do not have “thousands” or “hundreds” of cases.
“States are different,” the president said. “I understand that Florida issued one today. That’s good. That’s great. There are some states that don’t have much of a problem. ... You have to give a little bit of flexibility.”
A day earlier, the White House released the “sobering” new projections that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will likely succumb to the coronavirus even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Several state governors, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, announced Wednesday their states would limit all activity, save for essential services, for a period of time. In Georgia, the order will be implemented until April 13. DeSantis put the order in place for the next 30 days in response to the coronavirus.
The order goes into effect Thursday night at midnight for both states. DeSantis said he was taking the action after Trump extended social distancing guidelines earlier this week for another 30 days.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves ordered a shelter-in-place order to begin at 5 p.m. Friday for his state, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Reeves' order is scheduled to last until 8 p.m. April 20, the Daily Journal reported.
JUST IN: Gov. @tatereeves has signed an executive order establishing a statewide shelter-in-place. The shelter-in-place goes into effect Friday, April 3, at 5:00 p.m. will last until Monday, April 20, at 8 p.m.
Also Wednesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf dramatically expanded the footprint of the quarantine to include the entire state. The Democratic governor added 34 counties to his existing stay-at-home order, meaning residents of all 67 counties are now asked to stay put unless they have a legitimate reason to go out.
The expanded order will take effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday and last through at least April 30.
Trump has consistently resisted calls for a national stay-at-home order despite his administration’s projections that tens of thousands of Americans are likely to die from the disease.
Still, one by one, states are increasingly pushing shutdown orders of their own.
DeSantis’ move came hours after the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, said on NBC’s “Today” show he would tell DeSantis the federal guidelines for social distancing should be viewed as “a national stay-at-home order.”
Florida’s confirmed cases are approaching 7,000, deaths have reached at least 86 and almost 900 are hospitalized with a university model cited this week at the White House showing an exponential growth in the coming weeks.
More than 30 other states have already issued such orders, including other large states such as California, New York and Illinois. Those all acted more than a week ago.