March 20, 2020

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Latest News, Missouri

ICYMI: Business Leaders and Public Health Experts Beg Mike Parson To Do More To Respond to COVID-19

Just one day after the Kansas City Star wrote a scathing editorial on GOP Gov. Mike Parson’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, business and health care leaders in Missouri wrote urgent letters to Parson, begging him to do better. Parson’s response to the pandemic has been described as “frighteningly leisurely” due to his lack of communication, refusal to shut down nonessential businesses, and lax guidance, like “it will be up to individuals” to decide whether to stay home.

In the first of two separate letters, business and health care leaders predict the number of COVID-19 cases in the state will grow exponentially and issue a stern warning to Parson saying, “Missouri must act now.” The leaders, which include the CEOs of St. Luke’s Health System, SSM Health, and St. Louis Regional Chamber, go on to urge Parson to adopt policies that other governors have already put in place, including limiting gatherings to 10 people, ordering restaurants to offer take-out only, and strongly urging citizens to stay home.

The second letter was sent to Parson by the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence, a group of Missouri public health departments. The letter calls on Parson to take steps to protect residents from the disease.

Read more about the letters sent to Gov. Parson by Missouri industry leaders below.

Kansas City Star: Health officials say they’re responding to COVID-19. They want Gov. Parson to do same

A coalition of Missouri public health officials wants Gov. Mike Parson to order that residents can only leave their homes for medical reasons, work or to get food to help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a letter dated Friday.

The letter, obtained by The Star, was sent to Parson by the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence, a group of public health departments representing half of the state’s population. It includes Kansas City’s health director, Rex Archer.

In the letter, the group says local officials have taken steps to protect residents from the disease, COVID-19, but that Parson must do the same. Parson’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

“We do not take this request lightly but feel that at this time there is no other way to protect our residents and health providers without requesting that our efforts become statewide efforts,” the officials wrote.

KCUR: Leaders Beg Missouri Governor To Order COVID-19 Restrictions, ‘Missouri Must Act Now’

Kansas City and St. Louis business and health care leaders have issued an urgent, blunt warning to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson: Immediately order uniform social distancing across the state to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a formal letter obtained by KCUR, the leaders of ten business and health care groups said they have consulted with medical experts across the state who advise that mandatory social distancing is essential to slow the COVID-19 spread. The letter, sent Thursday, asked Parson to make orders based on public health officials’ advice and that Parson has to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to treat patients with life-threatening symptoms.

“The number of patients with such symptoms will increase exponentially in the coming days,” the letter says. “Missouri must act now.”