Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a “moderate” voice within the Republican Party that has consistently opposed President Donald Trump, is threatening anyone with up to a year behind bars if they refuse to abide by his coronavirus edicts.
Hogan issued executive orders on Monday to close down restaurants, bars, movie theaters and gyms throughout his state, exploiting emergency powers to justify his anti-constitutional mandate. He also banned any public gathering with more than 50 people attending, which has since been reduced to 10 people in recent days.
Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III made it clear that law enforcement will be working “around the clock and across the state” to enforce those orders. He made it clear that anyone who doesn’t comply will be subject to a fine up to $5,000, receiving up to a year in prison, or both.
“If a need for law enforcement action arises, we will take the appropriate action,” he said. “We are first conferencing with state’s attorneys and local law enforcement chiefs and sheriffs across Maryland. We will work in support of and partnership with those local authorities.”
The Maryland National Guard may even be brought in to punish those who do not comply with Gov. Hogan’s edicts, according to Spokesman Maj. Kurt Rauschenberg.
A spokesman for Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young also threatened the public that they must abide by these new mandates indefinitely or potentially be locked up.
“We’re not playing around,” spokesman Lester Davis said. “The hope is that people understand the seriousness of this and will comply and we won’t have to use enforcement measures. But we’re more than willing to do that.”
“Our residents are now, literally, our public health officers and we need them all to protect each other by following best practices around social distancing to limit the spread of this virus,” Young said. “The best thing Baltimoreans can do today is to stay home and not expose themselves or their families to any unnecessary risk. Not all superheroes wear capes, some stay at home.”
Law enforcement is encouraging the public to snitch on other citizens who they believe to be not to be in compliance with the new edicts, as authoritarianism intensifies amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“This situation continues to evolve rapidly and we remain committed to taking whatever action necessary to promote social distancing, limit the spread of COVID-19, and save lives,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement.
While Maryland public officials may have the most noble of intentions with their shuttering of the state, liberties once revoked have a tendency to never be restored. The coronavirus lock down may be the new normal across the former land of the free.
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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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