(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin today joined Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) and 18 colleagues in calling for a national shelter-in-place order to combat the spread of COVID-19 across the United States of America. As the infection rate climbs and the strain on the American health care system worsens, the federal government cannot continue to slow-walk its response. 

“The total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths have nearly doubled in the last two days,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “We’re watching our health care system collapse before us. We’re seeing people separated from their loved ones. We’re witnessing students shut out from their classrooms and workers let go from their jobs. If we want to demonstrate true American leadership and stop this outbreak, we need a nationwide shelter in place order. Let’s listen to the experts who are telling us that step is the only way we can truly mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Months of continued half-measures will cost us far more than two weeks of sheltering in place.”

The U.S. health care system typically operates near full capacity and is already experiencing shortages of N95 masks, protective eye gear, and other necessary equipment to protect our doctors and nurses. An influx of patients due to continued spread of COVID-19, some of whom will require intensive care, will likely exceed our supply of hospital beds and ventilators, leading to rationing of care and more deaths.

Given insufficient availability of mass testing and the ability for asymptomatic individuals to unknowingly spread the coronavirus, the federal government must reduce person-to-person contact to the bare minimum by issuing a two-week nationwide shelter-in-place order immediately. It is the only proven way to limit the growth of confirmed cases, insulate our health care system, and prevent catastrophe.

Preventive action will save trillions of dollars in the long run and many priceless lives.

Additional co-signers of the letter are: Anthony Brown (MD-04), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Susan Davis (CA-53), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-4), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Lowenthal (CA-47), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Debbie Mucarsel-Powel (FL-26), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), José E. Serrano (NY-15), Darren Soto (FL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Lori Trahan (MA-03), 

Read the final letter here.