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Center for American Progress

Get aggressive, governors and mayors. Show that the buck and coronavirus stop with you.
In the News

Get aggressive, governors and mayors. Show that the buck and coronavirus stop with you.

Zeke Emanuel and Topher Spiro explain that in the face of poor federal leadership, state and local action is necessary to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

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The federal government is bungling the response to the coronavirus. It has focused on travel bans, when the SARS-CoV-2 virus arrived in the United States in January and is doubling every five to six days and spreading through our communities. As modeling predicts, we need more aggressive action to avert a coronavirus disaster. And we need it soon. President Donald Trump is not getting the job done, which means governors and mayors must step up and take the necessary action to impose social distancing, preserve the medical workforce and infrastructure and stem the pandemic.

We have good models of leadership from both sides of the aisle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has set a good example by closing schools, banning gatherings and the like. Similarly, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, after listening to scientists who indicate Ohio already has over 100,000 cases of COVID-19, closed schools, banned gatherings of over 100 and closed restaurants and bars. Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla of Hoboken, New Jersey has also closed gyms, movie theaters and bars, limited restaurants to takeout, imposed a curfew, asked the city to self-isolate. The governors of New York (a Democrat) and Maryland (a Republican) announced the closings of restaurants, bars and other gathering places as well.

The above excerpt was originally published in USA Today. Click here to view the full article.

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Zeke Emanuel

Senior Fellow

Topher Spiro

Vice President, Health Policy; Senior Fellow