Presidential Powers and Response to Combat COVID-19

Gostin LO, Hodge JG, Wiley LF. Presidential powers and response to COVID-19. JAMA. 2020; 1-2 (online March 18).

Posted: 26 Mar 2020 Last revised: 9 Apr 2020

See all articles by Lawrence O. Gostin

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

James G. Hodge

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Lindsay F. Wiley

American University - Washington, College of Law

Date Written: March 18, 2020

Abstract

CDC modeling suggests that, without mitigation, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), could infect more than 60 percent of the United States population. President Trump has declared a national emergency coupled with 49 governors declaring state emergencies (Figure 1), unprecedented actions. Social distancing aims to flatten the epidemic curve to moderate demand on the health system. Consequently, whether through voluntary action or state mandates, individuals are increasingly sheltering at home, schools and universities are closing, businesses are altering operations, and mass gatherings are being cancelled. Some countries have resorted to more aggressive measures, including a cordon sanitaire (a guarded area where individuals may not enter or leave) or large-scale quarantines. What powers do the President and governors possess in the United States? How should we balance individual rights and public health at a critical point in safeguarding the nation’s health?

Keywords: COVID, coronavirus, law, policy, social distancing, constitution, rights, due process, pandemic, travel

Suggested Citation

Gostin, Lawrence O. and Hodge, James G. and Wiley, Lindsay Freeman, Presidential Powers and Response to Combat COVID-19 (March 18, 2020). Gostin LO, Hodge JG, Wiley LF. Presidential powers and response to COVID-19. JAMA. 2020; 1-2 (online March 18)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3561168

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

James G. Hodge (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
111 E. Taylor Street, MC 9520
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States
480-727-8576 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.asu.edu/degree-programs/public-health-law-policy

Lindsay Freeman Wiley

American University - Washington, College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.wcl.american.edu/faculty/wiley/

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