the coronavirus crisis
The Trump administration has not advised states to order residents to stay home, to the extent possible, to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, but more than 30 states have done so anyway. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Tuesday that he said is "very close to" a statewide "stay-at-home" regime, calling it instead an "essential services and activities only" order. Florida, with a large elderly population and 6,741 confirmed COVID-19 cases plus 85 deaths as of Wednesday morning, has so far declined to join in the mandatory social distancing.
A University of Washington epidemiologist who advises the White House coronavirus task force said Tuesday he's urged Florida to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), asked about that advice later Tuesday, said President Trump's task force "has not recommended that to me. If they do, obviously that would be something that carries a lot of weight with me. If any of those task force folks tell me that we should do X, Y, or Z, of course we’re going to consider it. But nobody has said that to me thus far."
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the White House task force, tiptoed up to advising all governors to order lockdowns in an interview with NBC's Samantha Guthrie on Tuesday night. "Stay-at-home orders," he said, "they're kind of complicated for people to really adhere to," but "what every single state should do in this country is very strictly follow the guideline groups," including "no unnecessary travel, telework when you possibly can, no crowds more than 10 people, six feet away from individuals."
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, suggests Florida step up its efforts.
The "model from the University of Washington is projecting absolutely dire circumstances in Florida — and they assume Florida has a better policy response than they have," MSNBC's Rachel Maddow agreed Tuesday night. Watch her interview with the UW epidemic modeler below. Peter Weber