U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will not issue a national stay-at-home order even as coronavirus cases are still surging in the country.
Trump told reporters at a White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing that he does not intend to do so because different states have different levels of COVID-19 cases.
"States are different and I understand that the governor of Florida, great Governor Ron DeSantis issued one today and that's good, that's great. But there are some states that are different. There are some states that don't have much of a problem," he said.
Initially hesitant to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, DeSantis bowed to pressure and joined a slew of other states in directing residents to "limit movements and all personal interactions outside the home" to those that are necessary. Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada followed suit on the same day.
"You have to look -- you have to give a little flexibility. If you have a state in the Midwest, or if Alaska for example doesn't have a problem, it's awfully tough to say close it down. We have to have a little bit of flexibility," Trump said at the briefing.
Stay-at-home orders issued across the nation now cover at least 294 million people in at least 37 states, 74 counties, 14 cities, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to calculations by The New York Times.
The United States now leads the world with more than 200,000 confirmed cases, with the death toll rising to 4,757, showed the latest data from Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday.