This week, President Trump addressed the possibility of a nation-wide lockdown order. While he stressed that such a move was unlikely, he conceded that it was possible.
“You can do a national lockdown. Hopefully, we’re not going to need that,” the president said at a Tuesday press conference.
Rumors running wild
“You know, it’s a very big step,” Trump noted. “That’s a step that, I mean, in one sense would work. It’s a very big step. It is something we talk about but we haven’t decided to do that.”
“I just don’t think it’s going to be an action that we are going to take,” he continued. However, the president didn’t rule out the possibility.
“Anthony [Fauci and] all of the people standing behind me would get together in a room plus some additionals and we would make a decision.” Fauci serves as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
The admission came days after the National Security Council released a statement stressing that no plans for a national lockdown were in the works.
“Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE,” the agency tweeted on Sunday. “There is no national lockdown. The CDC has and will continue to post the latest guidance on #COVID19.”
Vice President Mike Pence also spoke on Sunday, and he downplayed talk of the federal government imposing a national rule.
Pence stressed that the administration would “respect and defer to decisions that are made by governors, by state health departments about what’s best for that community.”
“It’s a general Republican principle that we don’t want to give a mandate to these states,” the New York Post quoted an unnamed administration official as stating.
Strong steps on the west coast
Responses have varied across the country, some of the most aggressive measures being taken in California. Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area have instructed residents not to leave their homes other than to seek food, medicine, or exercise.
“I know today’s order is a radical step,” declared Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. “It has to be. We need to act now, all of us, to protect the public health.”