As a number of states have imposed varying degrees of shutdowns on businesses and residents to try and stem the spread of the new coronavirus, there have been persistent rumors that the Trump administration may consider implementing a nationwide shutdown and forced quarantine in order to stop the virus altogether.
Though President Donald Trump and administration officials have in recent days dismissed those rumors as unfounded, the Washington Examiner just reported that a possible two-week nationwide quarantine, enforced by mobilized National Guard units, is now being seriously considered.
Nationwide shutdown considered
According to an unnamed source said to be “knowledgeable of the evolving plan,” every business other than grocery stores and pharmacies would be ordered closed, and the American people would be instructed to stay at home for a two-week period.
The plan is reportedly still in the consideration stage, and no decision has yet been made, but if that is the route the administration chooses to go, the plan could be announced publicly as soon as next week.
Separately, another administration insider reported that Trump is considering grounding all domestic passenger flights around the country in order to prevent further spread of the viral contagion through travelers moving from city to city and state to state.
These are reportedly just a couple of several “radical ideas” being considered by Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force in the effort to protect the country from mass infections and deaths.
States taking the lead
Up until now, the Trump administration has seemed content to simply encourage the American people to practice social distancing and voluntarily stay at home as much as possible while at the same time allowing the individual states to impose varying levels of quarantines and shutdowns as suit their particular needs.
Trump has even praised the American people for, by and large, abiding by the administration’s recommendations. However, not everyone is heeding the advice, which means that more dramatic measures could still prove necessary to stop the spread of the virus.
The Examiner noted that the National Guard has already been mobilized in a number of states and, in some instances, is assisting in the enforcement of state-imposed shutdowns.
National Guard could be mobilized
The Trump administration has, understandably, been reluctant to impose any sort of nationwide quarantine or shutdown, but if the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths continue to surge, such a move may be deemed necessary.
One “knowledgeable source” told the Examiner that the Department of Homeland Security would like to have all National Guard units mobilized and deployed alongside U.S. military units and first responders such as police departments prior to any sort of nationwide shutdowns being ordered, if only to help guard against potential looting and rioting that may occur.
Hopefully, such a nationwide order is ultimately deemed unnecessary, as there is no telling how such an unprecedented action would play out or be received by the general populace.