The threat of coronavirus pandemic continues to be felt across the US, with various states imposing stay at home decrees. California’s governor Gavin Newsom was the first to impose the order, followed by New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo.
States imposing stay-at-home decree but Florida and Texas are yet to
However, Florida and Texas are yet to impose the stay home decree evoking fears that they could see a spike in cases of coronavirus infection. These are the country’s second and third most densely populated states where the small government thinking of few regulations, less taxes, and weaker safety net has always held supreme.
In Texas, one-fifth of its 29 million people do not have insurance, while almost a quarter of Florida’s 21 million people are elderly. Despite the vulnerabilities that people are exposed to as a result of COVID-19 outbreak, governors of these states have failed to impose stay-at-home decree. There is growing criticism regarding their inaction to call for stay-home orders. In both states, Democratic mayors have canceled events faulting patchy policies, making it difficult to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Texas and Florida could be the next Italy
Republican governors fear overreacting, and Florida governor Ron DeSantis indicated on Sunday that most people were testing negative of the virus. The state has three COVID-19 testing sites. On the other hand, Texas governor Greg Abbott has claimed that the state’s vast rural stretches make it challenging to order people to stay at home. Abbott said that whatever is working for urban areas might not work for over 200 counties that have so far reported zero cases of coronavirus.
There are fears that failure to call for lockdown might leave the states in the Italy situation where the healthcare system will be overwhelmed. Harris County judge Lina Hildago said that a country like Italy had a good healthcare system, but they are already overwhelmed. She said she fears because they have over 20% of uninsured residents, and thus a spike in cases will mean their healthcare system will be overwhelmed.