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 TrumpSanders says he wouldn't 'drop dead' if Trump decided on universal healthcare Overnight Health Care: Trump officials lay groundwork for May reopening | Democrats ramp up talks with Mnuchin on next relief deal | Fauci says death toll could be around 60,000 Hillicon Valley: State officials push for more election funds | Coronavirus surveillance concerns ramp up pressure for privacy bill | Senators warned not to use Zoom | Agencies ask FCC to revoke China Telecom's license 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) KhannaDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Defense Production Act urgently needed for critical medical gear 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order 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 EscobarTexas House Dems ask governor to issue stay-at-home order 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Hispanic Democrats demand funding for multilingual coronavirus messaging MORE (Texas), Tulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order The Hill's Morning Report — ,000,000,000,000: GOP unveils historic US rescue effort Gillibrand endorses Biden for president MORE (Hawaii), Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinTop House Oversight Democrats ask DHS to reduce immigrant detainee population 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Senators urge Congress to include election funds in coronavirus stimulus MORE (Md.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHarris, Ocasio-Cortez among Democrats calling for recurring direct payments in fourth coronavirus bill Ilhan Omar edits headline of New York Post article slamming the Squad: 'There, fixed it for you' Trump urges Sanders supporters to join GOP after senator suspends campaign 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.