Here in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear is serious about stopping church gatherings for Easter Sunday services in the era of COVID-19 and is directing local law enforcement to get license plates in order to issue quarantine orders.
Expecting that a “handful” of churches and other groups across Kentucky will defy his executive order and have in-person mass gatherings on Easter Sunday, Beshear said local officials are being directed to record license plate numbers of participants to pass to local health departments.
Those who attend these gatherings can expect public health officials to show up at their doors with mandates that they self-quarantine for 14 days, the governor said.
“If you’re going to expose yourself to this virus, it’s not fair to everybody else out there that you might spread it to,” Beshear said. “Understand, this is the only way we can ensure your decision doesn’t kill somebody else.”
This order doesn’t apply to drive-in services.
Kentucky Republicans are livid at the move.
Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 11, 2020
Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Quarantine for 14 Days https://t.co/z7U42liQRh
What the actual hell?— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 11, 2020
“Democrat Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Self-Quarantine for 14 Days”https://t.co/p6bAR8U3M2
Frankly, Beshear is 100% correct here and as the state's former Attorney General, he knows he has the law on his side here. He's not using law enforcement to break these services up, but he's damn sure making it clear he has four million Kentuckians to worry about too.
Compare that to Florida's Ron DeSantis, who is scrambling to give nursing homes blanket immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits.
Just weeks after a coronavirus outbreak in a Florida assisted living facility, the state's most powerful nursing home organization sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis with an urgent request: Grant the homes sweeping protections from legal claims arising from the viral scourge.
The response: DeSantis is considering it.
In one of the first such requests in the country, the governor’s office is consulting with some of the state’s top lawyers to see if such immunity can be provided to nursing homes and other healthcare providers, the chief of Florida’s top healthcare agency told members of the Florida Health Care Association on Thursday.
The letter to the governor, signed April 3 by the industry group’s executive director, Emmett Reed, prompted angry responses from one of the state's most well-known elder advocates, who has long fought to improve conditions in Florida's elder homes.
"It's jaw dropping," said Brian Lee, Florida's former chief long-term care ombudsman. “That they could, in the middle of a worldwide crisis, that they want to protect their interest, that they would make this request just floored me."
If granted, the measure could set up a battle between the governor's office and legal advocates in a state with a booming long-term care industry and the largest percentage of people older than 65 in the country. So far, the state has logged 731 virus cases among residents and staff members in the homes.
Democrats are trying to protect the people. Republicans are trying to protect businesses who screwed up.
Stay at home, folks.