March 26, 2020


"If we are willing to make this collective sacrifice, we will weather this collective storm."

Newton, MA – Congressman Joe Kennedy III today added his name to the growing list of medical experts, public health officials, and elected leaders calling for President Trump to enact a nationwide shelter-in-place order. Kennedy made the case that only an order of this level — paired with increased travel restrictions, a dramatic surge in testing, and enhanced tracking of disease spread — will be effective at cutting off this crisis.

Leading public health experts agree that a strong, nationwide shelter-in-place order is an essential step in sparing the United States from the most devastating consequences of COVID-19. Similar restrictions in other nations confronting the pandemic, including travel restrictions, proved consequential in stopping the disease's spread.

Kennedy today called for such an order, with exceptions for essential workers and services like the food industry and medical care, as well as increased travel restrictions and resources to super-charge disease testing, tracking, isolation and treatment. He also made clear the order must be paired with more robust, universal economic stimulus to help workers and families weather the continued economic pain.  

"We are out of time. Because of this Administration's abject failure to get ahead of this crisis months ago, because of their continued inability to deliver the tests, equipment, money, information, clarity and leadership the country needs, and because our health care system is buckling under unimaginable pressure, we are past the point of half-measures or patchwork response efforts. Public health and medical experts across the country agree: A temporary, clear nationwide shelter-in-place order is an essential step in ensuring that the apex of this crisis lasts weeks -- instead of months, or even years.

"A shelter-in-place of this magnitude will be difficult and painful. Travel restrictions, quarantines, and self-isolation are not easy things to ask of our people. They come with profound, short-term economic pain. But that pales in comparison to the pain this country will feel for months -- if not years -- if we do not stem the tide of this virus. President Trump must immediately urge a shelter-in-place and increased travel restrictions across the country. The Administration must super-charge the resources coming into states and hospitals to get done the testing, tracking, isolation, and treatment required to get a handle on this virus. And Congress must immediately act to back up such painful disruption with the economic stimulus needed to sustain families and businesses. 

"The science is clear: this is how we get through this crisis. It's scary and difficult, but it is possible. If we are willing to make this collective sacrifice, we will weather this collective storm. We will get to the other side. And there is great hope and comfort in that."


For Immediate Release:
March 26, 2020

Dan Black (202) 225-5931