Olszewski Says President Making It Harder To Protect Public From Coronavirus | WYPR

Olszewski Says President Making It Harder To Protect Public From Coronavirus

Mar 24, 2020

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski
Credit John Lee

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said President Trump could be putting lives at risk by saying he wants the country opened by Easter.

The president Tuesday said the U.S. economy is in jeopardy. During a Fox News town hall, the president said, “The faster we go back, the better it’s going to be.”

But Olszewski is joining other state and local leaders in saying any decisions about lifting restrictions should be driven by advice from public health professionals.

“That’s what we’re doing locally,” Olszewski said. “That’s what the governor is doing. We’re working in partnership. And I would hope that our national leaders would exhibit that same characteristic in their decision making. And to the extent they’re not, it certainly makes our job that much more difficult.”

Olszewski said stay home, unless it’s an essential errand like getting groceries.

“We all would love to be out of our houses tomorrow,” Olszewski said. “But the truth is this is a life or death situation and we have peoples, families, friends, neighbors, pillars of our community who are at risk if we’re not staying at home, if we’re not socially distancing. And to the extent these mixed messages are being sent to the public, it makes it very hard to save those lives and it literally could be putting people at risk.”

Olszewski said he has spoken to the family of the Baltimore County man who died last week from the coronavirus.

“I had a chance to express my condolences to the family,” Olszewski said. “It was a stark reminder again of how this is life and death and just how serious this situation is.”

As of Tuesday morning, there have been 349 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maryland, 42 of those in Baltimore County. Four people have died so far in Maryland from the coronavirus.