The State Legislature Is Pushing Back Against JBE On The Wuhan Virus Panic

We’re about to see a very interesting political battle played out in Louisiana over the Wuhan virus, as Gov. John Bel Edwards is not getting unanimous backing, especially from the state legislature, for his rather drastic attempts to lock the state down.

Edwards has blown up all K-12 schooling in Louisiana for the next month, and he’s also banned all public gatherings of more than 250 people for a month as well…

All that over 33 cases of a respiratory infection which the CDC says carries a very low risk to people who aren’t aged or already have major health concerns.

But what’s interesting about the 250-person gathering limit is that it would, conceivably, kill the legislative session which is currently going on.

And the legislators are not on board with that. Here’s an e-mail from Senate President Page Cortez that went out to legislators and staff…

To: Louisiana Legislature

From:

Page Cortez, President of the Louisiana State Senate

Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives

Members,

At this time there is no plan to cancel or suspend regular session. The legislature is open for business.

After consultation with medical professionals, we are taking the necessary CDC recommended precautions to allow the legislature to continue functioning, ensuring we meet our constitutional responsibilities. We are implementing strict CDC directed protocols to ensure the safety of the body, the staff, and the public while inside the Capitol.

Please know that we are in constant communication with each other, leadership, and necessary state and federal agencies and will closely monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Rest assured that we will continue to keep you updated as this situation develops. We ask that you communicate the same sense of calm and preparedness to your constituents.

Effective Monday, March 16, we will be implementing the following CDC recommended precautions to ensure the safety of the body, the staff, and the public while at the Capitol.

– Every entrant to the building will be required to have their temperature checked by authorized personnel. Any person with a temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) will not be allowed in the building. Individuals allowed in the building will be given a specific sticker for that day to indicate they were checked and will be asked to wear the sticker in plain view.

– We will be limiting the number of persons allowed into committee rooms and chamber galleries and require spacing in seating. The number of individuals will be based on CDC recommended guidelines and is subject to change.

– All legislative desks, podiums, committee rooms and flat surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected daily prior to use.

We will continue to keep you updated as events develop. Without question, we will get through this situation as we always have and always will as Louisianans.

Page Cortez, President of the Louisiana State Senate
Clay Schexnayder, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives

Reliable Sources of Public Information on Coronavirus

United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Louisiana Department of Health: http://ldh.la.gov/coronavirus / LDH coronavirus hotline: 1-855-523-2652 (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday)

Governor’s Office Coronavirus information page: https://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/89

La. Department of Education page featuring COVID-19 guidance for schools: https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/newsroom/ldoe-weekly-newsletter-03-10-20.pdf?sfvrsn=36cc9b1f_6

LDH coronavirus hotline: 1-855-523-2652 (8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday)

· Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness www.GOHSEP.la.gov

What this will mean once it hits Edwards’ desk, we don’t know. We do know, based on what we’ve been told, is there has been a sizable behind-the-scenes fight between the governor’s office and the legislature over this issue and that isn’t resolved.

So we’ll see.



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