GOP Gov Says State Is ‘Not California’ In Justifying No Stay At Home Order (Even Though Coronavirus Rate Is Higher In Her State)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, has resisted calls for her to issue a “stay at home order,” as a handful of other states have already done, in order to prevent the further spread of coronavirus in her state.

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Only about 538 cases have been identified in Alabama so far, according to numbers obtained on Friday morning from the New York Times coronavirus tracker. It’s possible, however, that Alabama’s numbers (and the rest of the nations) may be as many as five times higher.

Nevertheless, Ivey explained in a statement on Thursday that she would not issue an order to the citizens of her state that would close down businesses and encourage travel only to places where it was absolutely needed, such as the doctor or to grocery stores.

“Y’all, we are not Louisiana, we are not New York state, we are not California. And right now is not the time to order people to shelter in place,” Ivey said.

Each of those states has a much higher number of coronavirus cases reported so far. But California is an interesting choice for Ivey to compare Alabama to. That’s because, taking population into account, Alabama is actually worse off right now than is the Golden State.

While Alabama has 7.5 times less COVID-19 cases than does California, the population of the state is more than 8 times less. That means, on a per capita basis, Alabama has 11.00 coronavirus cases for every 100,000 citizens it has. California, by contrast, has just 10.26 cases per 100,000.

Ivey appears to believe that California is a state that should have a “stay at home” order due to the high number of cases it has. But were we able to shrink down California to the size of Alabama, in terms of population, it would actually be in a better place right now than would be the Yellowhammer State at this point, according to reported coronavirus numbers.

To her credit, Ivey has closed all of Alabama’s schools, and encouraged people to stay at home if they’re able to do so. She also ordered the closure of some non-essential businesses on Friday, but still stopped short of issuing an actual “stay at home” order, allowing gatherings of people in groups of 10 or less to continue onward.

However, if California is a standard she believes is doing worse than her own state, she should look again at the numbers, and reconsider whether more needs to be done.

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