Donald Trump Dismisses Calls for National Stay-at-Home Order: ‘States Are Different’

A sign overhead on an unusually quiet highway reminds drivers to "Stay home, limit travel, save lives" as part of Gov. Jay Inslee's ongoing stay-at-home order in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Monroe, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

President Donald Trump defended his decision at the White House press briefing on Wednesday not to issue a national stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

One reporter at the briefing asked the president why he was not taking power out of the hands of governors by setting a national order for Americans to stay home.

“States are different,” Trump replied, adding, “There are some states that don’t have much of a problem.”

Trump said that some states do not have thousands of cases of the virus or even hundreds.

“You have to give a little bit of flexibility,” he said. “I mean, if a state in the Midwest, or if Alaska, as an example, doesn’t have a problem, it’s awfully tough to say, ‘Close it down.'”

Trump praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for issuing his own stay-at-home order for the state after criticism from the national establishment media.

“That’s good. That’s great,” he said.

The president reasserted his position that governors should take the lead in their states to fight the virus.

“We’re really here to help governors,” he said. “They’re the front line of attack, and that includes in purchasing, by the way. We’re here, and we’re backing them up.”

The president said he had considered flight and train bans from locations that had become hotspots for the disease, such as New York City.

“Some of those flights I didn’t like from the beginning, but closing up every single flight on every single airline, that’s a very, very, very rough decision,” Trump said.

Trump also said he was considering limiting flights from hotspots and weighing the idea of stopping trains, but he suggested that those steps were too complex and unnecessary.

“It’s a very big decision to do that, and we’re pretty late in the process,” Trump said.

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