Senator Markey Demands All Members of White House Coronavirus Task Force Agree Before Any Suspension, Relaxation of March 16 Social Distancing Federal Guidance
Blasts Trump for ignoring counsel of federal health officials who say prematurely re-opening America would risk lives
Washington (March 25, 2020) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today blasted President Donald Trump for calling on Americans to “return to work” and demanded he stop ignoring guidance from federal government health and medical experts who warn that a suspension or relaxation of federal guidance – which went into effect on March 16th – could prolong the health emergency and inflict even greater damage on the U.S. economy. Yesterday, President Trump declared that he wanted the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” even as confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide have climbed above 54,000. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that even with continued robust intervention by local, state, and federal government, coronavirus patients will strain our U.S. healthcare system and its inventory of 925,000 U.S. hospital beds.
In a letter sent to the President today, Senator Markey explained that while that social distancing is difficult and challenging both to individuals and our economy, the further spread of coronavirus would result in more illness, hospitalizations, and deaths. He also called on him specifically to take no action to suspend or otherwise relax the March 16 guidance unless all members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force concur with that decision.
“We urge you not to bypass science- and evidence-based interventions for short-sighted economic benefit,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to President Trump. “Doing so will only prolong the life of the pandemic, steepen the U.S. infection curve, and risk the emergence of new ‘hot-spots’ across the country. We implore you to take no action to suspend or otherwise relax the March 16 guidance unless all members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force concur with that decision. If you fail to heed the experts’ advice, you will be responsible for the needless deaths of potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.