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20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order

20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order
© Greg Nash

Twenty Democratic lawmakers called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE to issue a two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order “immediately” in a letter sent Tuesday.

The suggested move would follow in the footsteps of the 15 states that have issued similar orders in the last few days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Trump, however, has indicated this week he is leaning in the opposite direction, saying in a Fox News interview on Tuesday he hopes to have the economy back up and running by Easter.

Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaBiden says he opposes Supreme Court term limits Dozens of legal experts throw weight behind Supreme Court term limit bill Expiring benefits raise economic stakes of stalled stimulus talks MORE (D-Calif.), the main signatory of the letter, suggested an order that would permit people to travel for essential services such as groceries and health care, as well as to and from workplaces if they are considered critical workers.

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The lawmakers say the lack of coronavirus testing and ability for asymptomatic individuals to “unknowingly” pass on the virus should drive the government to “reduce person-to-person contact to the bare minimum.”

“Our current actions to stem the tide are not enough,” the letter reads. “The total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have nearly doubled over the last 48 hours. At this rate, we will surpass one million confirmed cases and 13,000 deaths within the next ten days.”

Other House Democrats who co-signed the letter include Reps. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Trump's illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal MORE (Texas), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHarris faces biggest moment in spotlight yet Ocasio-Cortez slams Tulsi Gabbard for amplifying ballot harvesting video Republicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film MORE (Hawaii), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinCongress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act COVID-19 and the problem of presidential succession Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates MORE (Md.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream MORE (Mich.). 

They cited the lack of a Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccine or treatment for the virus, which has shaken the nation and could potentially overwhelm hospitals that are already short on medical supplies.

The lawmakers acknowledge the economic impact of such an order. 

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“There is no doubt that an action of this magnitude will temporarily disrupt daily lives and cause short-term economic pain, but it will help prevent an extended outbreak and response that could plunge us deep into a long-lasting recession,” the letter read.  

Trump has shown resistance to the idea of any kind of national shutdown or curfew to fight the coronavirus, saying Tuesday that "you can destroy a country this way, by closing it down."

"It's not built to shut down. Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy. They don’t want to be locked in a house or an apartment or some space," he said.