Obama presses for social distancing policies to remain in place

Obama presses for social distancing policies to remain in place
© Getty Images

Former President Obama on Wednesday urged the continuance of social-distancing protocols amid a push by some lawmakers and public figures to end such measures earlier than public health officials have recommended.

“These are the burdens our medical heroes already face in NYC,” Obama tweeted Wednesday. The former president linked in his tweet a New Yorker article that described the burdens the coronavirus pandemic has placed on New York’s hospitals, including overextended intensive care units, lack of personal protective equipment and unclear protocols on handling coronavirus patients.

“It's only going to get harder across the country. Another reason to maintain social distancing policies at least until we have comprehensive testing in place. Not just for our sake—for theirs,” he added.


The tweet comes as President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE has increasingly called for businesses and the economy to be reopened sooner rather than later, suggesting public gatherings could resume by Easter Sunday. However, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that this date should be “flexible." 

“You can destroy a country this way, by closing it down, where it literally goes from being the most prosperous,” Trump said Tuesday.

However, other public officials have pushed back on the idea of a quick return to business as usual with Rep. Adriano EspaillatAdriano de Jesus Espaillat CabralObama presses for social distancing policies to remain in place Self-quarantined New York lawmaker: 'We should be in total lockdown' Activists, analysts demand Congress consider immigrants in coronavirus package MORE (D-N.Y.), who is self-quarantining, telling CNN on Wednesday that the lockdown should be nationwide.

“I think the country should be on a lockdown,” Espaillat said on CNN. “Rather than abiding by this Easter Sunday scenario that the President is talking about, we should be in total lockdown.”