News and Commentary

COVID-19 Patient Refused Quarantine. Deputies Surround His House.
LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND - MARCH 17: Signs directing patients to a COVID-19 virus testing drive-up location are shown outside Medstar St. Mary's Hospital on March 17, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. The facility is one of the first in the Washington, DC area to offer coronavirus testing as more than 5,200 cases have been confirmed in the United States, and more than 90 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
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Deputies surrounded the house of a Kentucky man who refused to quarantine himself after he tested positive for COVID-19.

“A Kentucky novel coronavirus patient checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice. So to prevent him from spreading the virus, officials are surrounding his house to keep him there,” reported CNN on Tuesday.

In a press conference on Saturday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) said he does not want to force people into isolation but will do so if they refuse to comply with public health guidelines.

“We have had the first instance of a person who has refused to self-isolate, we have taken steps to force an isolation that will be in their home. It’s a step I hoped that I’d never have to take,” Beshear said. “But I can’t allow one person who we know has this virus to refuse to protect their neighbors.”

“Be a good neighbor. Do the right thing. That’s all we’re asking of people,” he later added.

Speaking with the Kentucky Standard, Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa confirmed that deputies have been dispatched to the man’s house, though he did not give the residence’s location. The man was tested at a Louisville hospital and left the facility against medical advice on Friday. He has reportedly been cooperating with police since they were dispatched to his residence.

During his press conference on Tuesday, President Trump stated he was “not happy” with people who are refusing to practice social distancing.

“I’m not happy with those people. But those people are being shouted down by other people. It’s almost like self-policing,” Trump said. “People are not happy when they see other people doing things they’re not supposed to be doing.”

Regarding Americans planning to travel on vacation to countries with minor or no cases of COVID-19, the president advised people to stay home.1

“I would just say enjoy your home. We have to get this problem fixed and then we’ll get back into business really quick,” Trump said. “I would recommend that they enjoy their living room.”

On Monday, the Trump administration laid out new guidelines for Americans to follow over the next two weeks, which include regularly washing hands, covering your cough and sneeze, staying six feet away from people, and avoiding crowds of 10 or more people. People who are sick and exhibiting symptoms were also strongly advised to stay home along with the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

Given that some residents in certain cities have failed to properly follow guidelines, the possibility of a national quarantine has been floated in some quarters of the internet, though the Trump administration dismissed those notions as rumors on Monday.

“There is an ongoing effort to spread disinformation and cause undue panic,” a senior official in the Trump administration told Fox News on Monday. “There is no national quarantine for the United States. It’s important we remain vigilant in ensuring our information is coming from verified sources.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, did say that he favors a national lockdown, strongly encouraging Americans to hunker down while they can.

“I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,” said Fauci.  “Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially … Everything is on the table. Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant. I just wouldn’t because I don’t want to be in a crowded place. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m going to be all of a sudden self-isolating for 14 days.”