California on Edge after 40 million people ordered to stay home: Gun sales spiked



California Governor Gavin Newsom today ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system.

All residents of California have been ordered to stay home or otherwise remain at their place of residence in order to combat the spread of coronavirus, the governor said today.

His move came after counties and communities covering about half the state’s population already had issued similar orders.

People may still leave their homes for walks and exercise and for essential needs such as food and medical care. Restaurant meals can still be delivered to homes.

Newsom earlier in the day asked the president to deploy a U.S. Navy medical ship to help the state expand its medical capacity and warned that more than half of California’s residents could contract the new coronavirus.

Exceptions are in place for those who work to maintain critical infrastructure in 16 key sectors that “are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”

Those sectors include:

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare and Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials, and Waste
  • Transportation
  • Water and Wastewater Systems

Newsom earlier in the day asked the president to deploy a U.S. Navy medical ship to help the state expand its medical capacity and warned that more than half of California’s residents could contract the new coronavirus.

Newsom asked President Donald Trump to send the USNS Mercy Hospital Ship to the port of Los Angeles for use through Sept. 1, in a letter dated Wednesday. California has disproportionately aided people returning to the U.S. from foreign countries and needs the ship to help “decompress” its health care delivery system as infection rates climb, Newsom wrote. The ship is based in San Diego.

Newsom’s letter to Trump said 25.5 million people could be infected. But the state’s population is estimated to be just shy of 40 million, meaning 56% of the population would be closer to 22.4 million people. The governor’s office did not respond to questions about his calculation or offer a prediction that considers efforts to stop the spread of the infection.

In a separate letter, Newsom today asked U.S. House and Senate leaders for $1 billion to support surge planning for state and local health systems. He said that money would be needed to do things like set up state-run and mobile hospitals, housing options to help people socially distance and testing and treatment for people without health insurance.

He also asked for assistance so the state can extend unemployment benefits beyond the usual 26-week limit, expand food assistance programs, resources for the homeless and tribal communities and boost childcare programs. He further asked for assistance for schools, aid to local and state budgets and transportation relief.

Gun sales have spiked as consumers who worried that people are becoming desperate and unpredictable amid the outbreak rushed to buy weapons and ammunition.