Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses reporters in September 2018.
Gov. Mike Parson, a respected man of action, has issued a statewide stay-at-home order, apparently deciding that the coronavirus has sufficiently taken hold in Missouri.
"Stay at home Missouri," Parson said during a brief news conference on Friday afternoon.
The order kicks in at 12:01 a.m. on Monday and runs until 11:59 p.m. April 24.
The governor had previously stiff-armed pleas for an order from such whiners and know-nothings as the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Missouri Nurses Association and Missouri Hospital Association.
Two weeks ago, Parson ordered social distancing, and he had issued a statewide ban on gatherings of more than ten people, but hell if he was going to follow the example of more than thirty other states, big Missouri counties and cities such as St. Louis and Kansas City or small, rural counties like Gasconade and Crawford — all of which issued their own orders.
"At the end of the day, it is going to be personal responsibility that’s going to be a part of the future of what we’re doing to fight the coronavirus," Parson said previously a news conference on Thursday.
He has frequently pointed out that there weren't a ton of known cases in rural parts of the state, and that the concentration of positive tests were in the cities and metro counties. Waiting for the virus to come to you isn't the lesson most have taken away from watching a global pandemic infect more than a million people worldwide, killing more than 50,000, but Parson has said shutting down Missouri earlier was too complicated.
Florida and Mississippi, two of the other longtime holdouts managed to work it out on Wednesday, but it was apparently still a puzzle here until Friday.
The country's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Thursday every state should be issuing a stay at home order.
"I don't understand why that's not happening," Fauci told CNN's Anderson Cooper
More than 2,100 confirmed cases and nineteen deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported in Missouri.
Parson acknowledged that he's been criticized for not issuing the order earlier but said he really struggled with the power to "pick winners and losers" by deciding which jobs were essential or non-essentially, basically who could still go to work and who had to stay home.
He said, in some instances, businesses that were allowed to stay open through exceptions to other stay-at-home orders had become "hotbeds" for coronavirus transmissions, and his order would provide a clear framework for how businesses that remain open are to operate.
"This state is made up of winners," Parson said. "To win this battle against COVID-19 it's going to take each one of us doing our part and putting out our best. Our actions today will determine our future. So for the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible and follow this order. Stay at home, Missouri. God bless you, God bless the great state of Missouri and God bless the United States of America."
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