Rachel Maddow warned on Tuesday night that as terrible as the new coronavirus projections are, they will likely be worse if not all governors issue stay-at-home orders.
According to the MSNBC host, the White House estimate that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will die from the coronavirus is based on the assumption that the entire country will be implementing extreme mitigation measures.
The only problem, as Maddow pointed out, is that there are still “big swaths” of the country, like Florida, that aren’t ordering people to stay home.
And since the federal government isn’t implementing a national stay-at-home measure, this will leave many parts of the U.S. open for the virus to spread.
“The model is … built on the assumption that we Americans live in a country where we’re all going to be subject to stay-at-home measures,” she said. “Well, the U.S. federal government is not making that happen across the country, and so lots of governors aren’t doing that. ”
Rachel Maddow explains that the White House projections of 100,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths is based on the assumption that all states will order their citizens to stay home – and that’s not what’s currently happening. #ctl #p2 #maddow pic.twitter.com/eV36Ek2pZg
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 1, 2020
The projections are just terrible. In the case of this widely-cited model from the University of Washington, the model is also built on the assumption that we Americans live in a country where we’re all going to be subject to stay-at-home measures, and we’re all going to be subject to the closure of non-essential businesses to slow the virus’ spread. Well, the U.S. federal government is not making that happen across the country and so lots of governors aren’t doing that. What happens to the parts of the country where that mitigation isn’t happening? What happens to all of us is big swaths of the country won’t do it or won’t do it until it is too late?
None of this will work unless all states participate
Without a federal policy in place to order Americans to stay home – like so many other countries across the globe have done – it is up to individual states to get the job done.
But a handful of governors, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, still refuse to issue stay-at-home orders for their states despite surging infections and deaths.
U.S. efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus won’t be effective unless all states are participating. As of now, that isn’t the case.
If governors don’t get their act together and order their states to stay home, then the coronavirus outbreak could be much more widespread and deadly than the already-dire projections say it will be.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.