California Governor Gavin Newsom is projecting that 56% of his state’s population will be infected by the Chinese coronavirus within two months, stating as such in a letter to President Trump.
“We project that roughly 56 percent of our population-25.5 million people- will be infected with the virus over an eight week period.”
Newsom is making the projection in light of an appeal for President Trump to deploy the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy to the port of Los Angeles.
Newsom’s appeal suggests California is expecting the most drastic outcome possible as part of the state’s coronavirus preparation.
But there’s ultimately ample reason to be doubtful of the governor’s worst-case scenario. There aren’t even 25.5 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with Chinese coronavirus as of March 20th.
For half the state’s population to become infected with the disease, it would have to spread with far more vitality and contagious force than it has in China or Italy, the two countries hit the hardest by the disease. In China, where the virus struck before the global scientific community knew anything about it, authorities are giving total figures of around 81,000 infections.
There’s reason to be suspicious of China’s official figures, but it would be difficult for the Communist Party to cover up a whopping 25 million diagnosed cases.
There may very well be a compelling case for the deployment of the hospital ship to Los Angeles, as Newsom requests. Another hospital ship is already being sent to New York harbor, where the virus is strongest in the nation aside from its original entry point in Washington state. But claiming that California is going to be struck harder than China and Italy combined makes it hard to believe that the state is estimating its coronavirus needs in a sober-minded fashion.
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Rhode Island Police Targeting New Yorkers for Mandatory Coronavirus Quarantine
State police will scrutinize New Yorkers arriving in the state.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Thursday that establishes strict mandatory quarantine rules for those arriving in the state from nearby New York.
“Anyone coming to Rhode Island in any way from New York must be quarantined,” said the governor at a press conference. “By order. Will be enforced. Enforceable by law.”
The executive order will require New Yorkers to identify themselves to state law enforcement or National Guard personnel and place themselves into self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. The Empire State is the national ground zero for the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, and Rhode Island’s government appears highly skeptical of New Yorkers fleeing from the state.
Governor Raimondo admitted that the executive order is an “an extreme measure,” but justified its implication on the basis of the coronavirus epidemic’s severity. “I don’t want anyone to panic. If anything, Rhode Islanders should breathe a sigh of relief. We are doing things to keep ourselves safe.”
National Guard personnel are being posted at the state’s major airports, and state police are stopping passenger traffic that enters from New York. Law enforcement will follow up with New York residents that enter the state to ensure that they’re complying the law.
Raimondo established real penalties for New Yorkers that violate the self-quarantine rule, subjecting them to a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or even 90 days in prison.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his disapproval of the move, claiming it unfairly singles out New Yorkers in a time when Americans should be uniting to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
“I don’t like it socially or culturally. I don’t like what it says about us as one state, one family. Also, I don’t believe it’s medically justified.
Florida, Maryland, Texas and California have enacted similar public health measures that scrutinize New Yorkers, but Rhode Island’s appears to be the most forceful to enter effect thus far.
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