Missouri is one of a handful of remaining states that hasn’t issued a stay-at-home order, despite the fact that the number of coronavirus infections and deaths continues to rise at an alarming rate all across the country.
According to The New York Times, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Iowa, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas – see a pattern? – are the other states that haven’t explicitly ordered their citizens to shelter in place.
And while Missouri Gov. Mike Parson hasn’t issued a stay-at-home order to keep his people safe, he has made it clear what his real priority is in the middle of a deadly pandemic: expanding gun rights.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber on Thursday, former Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill pointed out that Parson made the decision today to waive late fees for folks in his state that want to renew their concealed carry license.
Meanwhile, still no word on whether he’ll take decisive action to address the deadly outbreak in his state.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 3, 2020
Sen. McCaskill said:
My state has not done a statewide stay-at-home order. We are one of those ten states. The governor though today really has his priorities straight. He made sure nobody is going to have to pay a late penalty for renewing their conceal and carry license, but declined to issue a stay-at-home order for the entire stay. So we have real problems here in my state.
In other words, the Republican governor thinks it’s more important to make sure his state is still able to tote its guns as opposed to, you know, preventing the spread of a deadly virus.
GOP governors are making it harder to flatten the curve
The fact that Donald Trump’s coronavirus response has been an unmitigated horror show has meant that states all across the country – both red and blue – have had to step up and show some leadership.
Many states, including some run by Republican governors, have done that by issuing stay-at-home orders and other tough restrictions that prevent people from further spreading the infection.
But the efforts of responsible governors become almost meaningless when states run by Donald Trump clones decide not to take action to protect their people – or they wait too long for those actions to be meaningful.
After all, the coronavirus will continue to spread if Americans in all 50 states aren’t practicing the social distancing guidelines that are shown to be effective.
What happened in Missouri on Thursday is a reminder of just how backwards the priorities of some GOP governors are, even in the middle of a pandemic that has caused over 6,000 American deaths.
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.