Could President Trump use certain “war powers” to invoke a nationwide quarantine?
Rumor has it that the president is preparing an unprecedented plan to mobilize the National Guard to help enforce a proposed two-week quarantine of the public if his current efforts so far encouraging people to “stay home” fail.
The extraordinary action would require everyone to “stay at home,” according to a source knowledgeable of the evolving plan. The effort, which is still being mulled about and wouldn’t be announced until later this week if needed, would urge that all businesses, except grocery stores and pharmacies, be closed.
It comes on the heels of other insider reports that the president is considering grounding all U.S. passenger flights to force a halt in people interacting and moving around the country.
Senior officials have said that dozens of radical ideas are being considered and that the president and his virus task force are moving quickly to protect the nation.
Trump has praised the public for following the rules he has put in place, but the new plans are an acknowledgment that many people are not taking the warnings seriously.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday, that the current voluntary efforts to “lockdown” the country and try to curb the spread of the coronavirus are likely to last 10 to 12 weeks, or until early June.
Americans are adapting to the biggest change in daily life since World War Two with schools closed, sports canceled and economic upheaval as job losses mount with the shuttering of businesses across many industries.
In some areas, the National Guard has already been called out to enforce “stay in place” orders, a model of what Trump is considering. In Washington, D.C., the Guard has been activated. The city on Friday extended school closings until the end of April.
Wisconsin has also activated the Guard, and it is in use in Florida, New Jersey, and Arizona. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for all residents to stay at home until further notice. He has also put the National Guard on notice.
The virus has killed over 13,000 globally and infected more than 300,000.