- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 4, 2020

Only nine governors haven’t issued statewide stay-at-home orders as of Saturday afternoon, amid mounting pressure from calls for shutdowns nationwide.

The governors of Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas and South Carolina have not issued shelter-in-place, orders according to an analysis from The New York Times.

On Friday, the governors of Missouri and Alabama became the latest officials to issue stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus outbreaks. The orders require residents to avoid going out except for essential purposes.

President Donald Trump has avoided issuing a nationwide order, leaving it up to state officials to make their own decisions for their residents.

Governors in the remaining states who haven’t issued stay-at-home orders have offered different rationales behind their decisions.

“The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety,” said South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who said that both her state’s and the U.S. constitutions “prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done,” according to CNN.

The argument of government intrusion was one of the leading reasons governors gave as to why they haven’t ordered all residents to stay at home, CNN reported. Some governors including Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, reportedly said they are following the medical advice of their own experts rather than suggestions outlined by federal health officials.

Officials from all 50 states have strongly recommended residents practice social distancing in efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Saturday early afternoon, the U.S. has reported more than 278,000 infections and 7,100 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracking website.

“I think right now until the dust settles every state should go on lockdown,” David Markovich, a New York City resident who is recovering from COVID-19, told The Washington Times. “As someone who has gotten the virus and knows how tough it is to recover, we should take this very seriously.”

The stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama begins Saturday at 5 p.m. and lasts until Thursday, April 30 at 5 p.m. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s shelter-in-place mandate will go into effect on Monday at 12:01 a.m. and run until Friday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m.

“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Mr. Parson said. “This is not about any one individual person. This is about our families, friends, neighbors, and the entire state of Missouri. For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible, and stay home, Missourians.”

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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