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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 TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports 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) KhannaHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis House impeaches Trump for second time — with some GOP support Stacey Abrams gets kudos for work in Georgia runoff election 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 EscobarHouse Judiciary Democrats ask Pence to invoke 25th Amendment to remove Trump 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics House Democrats push Biden's Pentagon pick on civilian control of military MORE (Texas), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (Hawaii), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot MORE (Md.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden and the new Congress must protect Americans from utility shutoffs Overnight Energy: EPA rule exempts many polluting industries from future air regulations | Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report | Officials ousted from White House after papers casting doubt on climate science Ex-Michigan governor to be charged over Flint water crisis: report 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.