Colorado Public Radio reports on yesterday’s round of executive orders from Gov. Jared Polis, as the state continues to respond to the rapidly growing COVID-19 outbreak:
On Sunday, Gov. Jared Polis ordered non-essential businesses to reduce the number of people physically present in the workplace by 50 percent, and more if possible.
He said that while the state was not wielding enforcement authority to keep people at home, there is a more severe enforcement authority that should keep people home for themselves and others: “the Grim Reaper.”
“It is not the threat of you being brought to prison, it is the threat of death,” he said.
The order passed by Gov. Polis yesterday does not fully order the closure of non-essential businesses throughout the state, known in some locations as a “shelter in place” order–instead directing businesses to reduce on-site staffing levels and take other actions to reduce the spread of infection in their workplaces. What we’re seeing here is a targeted attempt by Gov. Polis to maximize disease prevention while minimizing disruption of the economy.
For the faction of Republicans–which belatedly no longer includes President Donald Trump–who are more upset about the measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19 than the pandemic itself, the fact that Polis has not gone as far as some other states, and is not threatening enforcement of his orders in the manner of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, should leave them nothing to complain about. The real question will be whether or not, in hindsight, Polis’ nuanced approach was sufficient to address the situation.
Before you armchair quarterback, and of course we all will, consider the weight of these decisions.