Oregon initiated its statewide quarantine orders on March 24, 5 weeks ago. Since, social distancing measures worked to decrease the curve, or intensity of the outbreak’s peak. In fact, one model from the Institute of Disease Modeling suggests Governor Kate Brown’s executive order avoided an additional 70,000 infections. However, the pandemic continues to pose a threat to the general public. Still, many political figures call for governments to ease restrictions, including Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay. In response to his actions, State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum issued a letter of warning to the mayor.
Essentially, the letter boiled down to a reminder of Brown’s higher authority over the Oregon City leader. It also suggested possible further legal action. “I remind you that there are significant legal repercussions for violating the governor’s order,” Rosenblum’s letter read.
In recent days, Holladay signaled a desire to reopen Oregon City in spite of the governor’s orders. He said he spoke with other Oregon mayors interested in taking steps to reopen their cities. “I don’t see the danger that we thought there was four or five weeks ago,” he said.
Oregon City Commissioners Denounce Holladay
In response to their mayor’s comments, Oregon City’s commissioners issued a statement denouncing Holladay’s interest in prematurely reopening their city. They clarified the will of one does not represent the whole.
Despite his disagreement with the state’s extended quarantine, Holladay voted with the commissioners in a unanimous decision to support the governor’s order.
Still, his insistent, divergent opinion mirrors a political divide happening across the country. Protests in many states against quarantine orders flout emergency law to voice opposition. The president tweeted his support for these groups. Other Republican governors fight with local authorities over the implementation weak or nonexistent social distancing measures.
Largely, certain conservative groups and individuals, seemingly bolstered by Trump and other conservative operatives, push to reopen the country.
Meanwhile, health experts warn early removal of restrictions will lead to a resurgence, causing more harm to the economy in addition to more infections, strained healthcare resources, and death.