White House disputes talk of national curfew
The White House is pushing back on a report that the Trump administration is considering recommending a nationwide curfew in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, saying that it is “not correct.”
Katie Miller, a spokeswoman for Vice President Pence’s office, and White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere each disputed a report from CNN that the Trump administration is discussing encouraging a nationwide curfew that would order nonessential businesses to close at a certain time in the evening.
“This is not correct,” Miller tweeted Monday morning. Pence has been tapped by President Trump to lead the federal government’s response to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 3,000 patients in the United States as of Monday.
This is not correct. https://t.co/Wh458d8TAK
— Katie Miller (@VPPressSec) March 16, 2020
This is not true! https://t.co/xhdtRUsOa9
— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) March 16, 2020
Various state and local governments across the United States have ordered closures of bars and restaurants to mitigate the spread of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance Sunday evening recommending in-person gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled over the next eight weeks.
Pence told reporters Sunday evening that the administration would issue updated guidelines on mitigating the spread of the virus on Monday but noted the administration would “respect and defer to decisions that are made by governors, by state health departments about what’s best for that community.”
A key member of the coronavirus task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said in television appearances on Sunday that Americans should be prepared to “hunker down” and wouldn’t rule out the idea of lockdown where bars and restaurants are closed across the country.
“I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see in restaurants and in bars,” Fauci told CNN’s Brianna Keilar when asked if he’d like to see a national lockdown put in place. “Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see.”
Meanwhile, France, Italy and Spain have all instituted sweeping restrictions to prevent citizens from leaving their homes as the virus has infected large numbers of patients in Europe, which is now considered the epicenter of the pandemic.
Trump and Pence are participating in a video teleconference with governors on the coronavirus this morning and members of the coronavirus task force are scheduled to brief the White House press corps on updates later in the afternoon.