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Government Needs to Get Its Coronavirus Message Straight

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Government Needs to Get Its Coronavirus Message Straight

The Wall Street Journal April 1, 2020
Public SectorReinventing Government
Health PolicyOther

We’re already on pins and needles. Official disunity makes it worse.

You can be certain that some variant of the conversation below took place Saturday morning in tens of millions of households in the Northeast, including mine.

“Did you hear what the president just said?”

“No. What?”

“He might quarantine New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to stop spread of the virus. He said it would take effect ‘sometime today’ and last two weeks. He’ll let us know his final decision later.”

“He’ll let us know . . . later? Are you serious? What would it even mean? That we couldn’t leave the state? That we couldn’t leave our homes?”

“I don’t know. He didn’t get into details. He made the announcement in front of some reporters and then got on a helicopter.”

“And how would he enforce it? You’re talking about limiting the movement of 20 million people. Would he impose martial law? Can he do that?”

“I don’t know. He didn’t say.”

“Wait. Someone just asked Gov. Cuomo about it. Cuomo says he talked to Trump earlier about getting more medical supplies to New York but not about any quarantine. The topic didn’t come up.”

“Hold on. You mean, the president didn’t say anything about this to the governors beforehand? This is crazy.”

“Should we do something, prepare somehow, just in case? Maybe we should try and leave before we’re stuck here . . .”

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

______________________

Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

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