State Governors Lead U.S. Response to COVID-19

April 06, 2020 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Public Affairs Director

Although the United States federal government is coordinating the nation’s public health campaign against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the states—and the governors in particular—are coordinating across the country and party lines to implement containment plans using all the public and private tools at their disposal. 

Closing schools, canceling public events, and limiting gatherings are some of the top factors that governors are using to enforce public health safety. Additionally, the National Governors Association, a bipartisan leadership group, is providing states with real-time information on COVID-19 protocols. 

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) said that as his state closely monitors the spread of COVID-19, he does not anticipate reopening public venues anytime soon. He added that “we’re not going to be opening back up in a couple of weeks. I think in two weeks, around Easter, we’re going to be looking a lot more like New York,” he told Fox News on March 29, 2020. 

Reiterating that caution, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) said that high-infection areas like Detroit are taking “aggressive measures” to deal with COVID-19. She said on NBC’s Meet the Press that Michigan’s “numbers are climbing exponentially. We knew it was a matter of time before COVID-19 would come to Michigan. We’ve been on the front end of aggressive measures that states have been taking. But we see this astronomical rise.” 


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