Surgeon General Jerome Adams wouldn’t give a direct answer when asked whether all states should issue a stay-at-home order, during an interview on the “TODAY Show” Wednesday morning.
In light of the White House’s sobering briefing the night before that projected between 100,000 to 240,000 deaths from COVID-19 if social distancing is done correctly, anchor Savannah Guthrie asked Adams whether he is concerned that 17 states still haven’t issued stay-at-home orders.
After acknowledging the “somber news” from the briefing, Adams pointed to the “good news” that Washington state, California and Italy have flattened their curves through “aggressive mitigation” efforts.
Pressed again by Guthrie on whether every state should have a stay-at-home order given its effectiveness in states such as Washington and California, Adams responded that is the “whole point” of the White House’s 30 days to slow the spread guidelines.
“We want nationally people to understand the importance of social distancing. We live in a nation that has a system of federalism and the governors get to make the decision,” Adams said. “But we’re going to give them the best possible guidance we can and that’s to stay at home and social distance.”
When asked about how Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has yet to issue a stay-at-home order in his state due to the lack of recommendation from the White House coronavirus task force, Adams said that his advice to the country is that the 30-day guidelines are “a national stay-at-home order.”
“They’re guidelines that say that: look, the more we social distance, the more we stay at home, the less spread of disease there will be,” Adams said.
Asked whether there is any good reason for states not having a stay-at-home order, Adams said “governors have tough choices to make.”
“They have to decide whether or not they feel like their citizens will listen to them without a stay-at-home order,” Adams said. “But again, the most important thing is to stay at home, stay six feet away from each other. That’s how you slow the spread.”
Watch Adams’ remarks below:
"My advice to America would be that these guidelines are a national stay-at-home order."— U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams pic.twitter.com/UWGtO2BpJO
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 1, 2020