Besides the disease itself, one of the greatest concerns for Americans has been the idea of a federally mandated national lockdown.
On Sunday acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf appeared on the Fox Business Network to address these concerns.
Some states, like California and New Jersey, have instituted their own lockdown orders to confront the pandemic, but Wolf said it would not be done nationally … at least for the time being.
“We’ve seen the number of reports, and I’ve personally gotten contacted a number of times about text messages or these screenshots going around saying I know someone at DHS, and they say we will have a national lockdown or a national quarantine,” he said on “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”
He said that these rumors, which are mainly spread on the Internet, are “absolutely false.”
“It’s not true, and it is part of a disinformation campaign,” the secretary said. “And what we know, whether it’s Russia or other cyber actors, they like to sow discord on any controversial issues.”
When Bartiromo asked him directly if President Donald Trump was thinking about a full nationwide lockdown Wolf said, “Not at this time.”
The “at this time” part of the statement is frightening, but many experts believe that the only way to stop the pandemic is by having a nationwide lockdown.
“The president and the vice president and the task force, have been very aggressive and very forward leaning in the number of guidance and number of information to the American public,” he said. “We have 15 days to slow the spread, so there’s a number of measures we’re asking the American public to take.”
Starting at 8pm on Sunday the entire state of New York will be on a mandatory lockdown. Bartiromo asked Wolf why some states have to do that but not the entire nation.
“Again, I think we’re focusing on those states and those localities that again have widespread community transmission,” the secretary said. “So, New York, California, Washington and other parts of the country that we’re seeing cases spike, and so those governors are obviously looking at those numbers closely, and they’re in touch with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and [the Department of Health and Human Services], and they are in touch with the task force.”
“We’re sharing that information and in those localities, in those locations like New York City, where they are having to take some aggressive measures to slow that spread. There are other parts of the country, perhaps in the Midwest and South, that are not seeing the same numbers. They don’t need to take those aggressive measures at this time,” he said.
But, he said, that the federal government is continuing to watch the situation and is prepared to take more steps if it needs to.
“But again, we continue to evaluate this on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis,” the secretary said.