Prominent Alabama Dems call for shelter-in-place order
Several prominent Alabama Democrats have called on Governor Kay Ivey to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order.
An order of that type that would close all non-essential businesses and require the vast majority of Alabama’s citizens to remain in their homes. Such orders have been issued in a number of states with high numbers of coronavirus cases.
Alabama House of Representatives Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) tweeted on Thursday morning, “Do the right thing, Issue the Shelter in Place Order.”
Daniels was echoing the sentiment of State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa), chair of the Alabama Democratic Party, who tweeted a stark warning Wednesday if a shelter-in-place order is not made.
We do not have anymore time. @GovernorKayIvey, If nothing is done, someone will lose his or her life not because of the virus, but because our hospitals will not have the resources available to save them. It is time to act. #issuetheorder #ShutItDownNow #FlattenTheCurve https://t.co/tjoflePRw1
— Chris England (@RepEngland70) March 26, 2020
In comments made to Alabama Media Group, Alabama Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) said of a shelter-in-place order, “I think that’s what’s going to be needed for us to be able to stay ahead of this in the state of Alabama.”
Two Democratic mayors have taken stronger action than the state has required.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin got his city council’s approval for a shelter-in-place order for his city. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor, has issued a curfew for the residents of Tuscaloosa.
Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in a statement called on the public and local officials to enact “stringent measures,” including shelter-in-place orders.
Jones’ office emailed a statement to Yellowhammer News that read, “I agree with Lt. Governor Ainsworth one hundred percent and called him last night to thank him and to discuss ways to put the health and safety of the people of Alabama above all else. Last night in the Senate, we unanimously passed a bill that will help stabilize the economy by quickly getting money to businesses and individuals so that folks can stay home and protect themselves and their communities. But we can’t stop the spread of this virus by legislation. That is going to take a combination of everyone voluntarily taking every precaution and state and local officials enacting stringent measures, including shelter in place orders, to ensure that our citizens are protected and we relieve the burden on our hospitals and medical providers.”
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) did not immediately return Yellowhammer’s request for comment.
As of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Alabama has 449 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Jefferson County has 140 and Tuscaloosa has 17.
In a press conference Tuesday, Ivey said she would issue a shelter-in-place order “if and when it is best for our state.”
“My priority is keeping the Alabama economy going as much as possible,” she added.
Ivey is scheduled to deliver another update on Alabama’s COVID-19 preparation on Thursday, March 26, at 4:00 p.m.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.