Twenty Democratic lawmakers called on President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official 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) KhannaKhanna advocates for 'honest and reflective patriotism' in America Democrats call on Education secretary to address 'stealthing' at federal level Showdown: Pelosi dares liberals to sink infrastructure bill 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.
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 EscobarHistoric immigration reform included in House-passed spending bill Democrats call on Biden to sanction climate change contributors Progressives see infrastructure vote next week MORE (Texas), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (Hawaii), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case Trump allies leaning on his executive privilege claims Oversight panel eyes excessive bail, jail overcrowding in New York City MORE (Md.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats September video shows Boebert made earlier comments suggesting Omar was a terrorist House progressives urge Garland to intervene in ex-environmental lawyer Steven Donziger's case 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.
“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.