The continued spread of the coronavirus has tested the nation’s capacity to execute a coordinated response.
“This is not a time to panic. These recommendations are based out of best practices, not out of fear.” — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Universities have halted in-person classes, campuses have closed and events across the country have been postponed. How are educational institutions, state governments and the federal government managing the collective response to this mounting health crisis?
Listen: How will the state, schools and the Trump administration synchronize coronavirus response?
“This is not a time to panic. These recommendations are based out of best practices, not out of fear,” says the governor. Additional resources will be necessary for local health departments to treat those impacted by the outbreak, she says. On the federal response to the coronavirus, Whitmer says, “When that confidence is eroded any statement is taken with less seriousness than it should be. We need the federal government to do the best job they can so that we can do ours.”
Click here to see a full list of the state’s recommendations for responding to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, President of Oakland University, says the decision to close in-person classes did not happen overnight. “At Oakland we had been preparing for this eventuality for a long time,” says Pescovitz. Even with this proactive approach, Pescovitz knows the transition to remote learning will be an arduous process. “It’s not going to be easy. It is going to be a challenge for us. But we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt,” says Pescovitz.
Michael Wright, Vice President of Marketing and Communications and Chief of Staff to the President of Wayne State University, says the university will also be moving away from in-person classes to remote learning, but that the campus will remain open.
“We’ve got students who, campus is home. We can’t shut the whole university down without disrupting our academic mission.”
Philip Bump, National political correspondent for the Washington Post, says that the federal government’s response to the crisis has been lacking.
In Trump’s address to the nation Wednesday night, Bump says the president focused more on framing the success of his administration’s response rather than disseminating information imperative to mitigating the health crisis. “The White House is a few steps behind instead of a few steps ahead,” says Bump. On the economy, Bump says the president’s attempts to calm the markets have proven to be unsuccessful. “There’s no question that there are going to be significant economic ramifications from this,” says Bump.