Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was offered a history lesson on Twitter after he fretted over stay-at-home orders imposed to limit the spread of the deadly coronavirus ravaging the nation.
“What would the Founders say?” the congressman asked on Twitter.
Amid spiking COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, several states have tightened restrictions, ordering businesses to close and asking residents to stay at home. In Jordan’s home state of Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has extended a nighttime curfew through Jan. 2 and suggested he might soon close bars and restaurants.
Jordan has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the severity of the pandemic. Earlier this month, he mocked the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, for his plea that Americans avoid Christmas travel.
December has been the deadliest month of the pandemic yet for the U.S. More than 60,000 deaths have been recorded this month alone.
Critics noted that the Founders had in fact followed strict measures to stifle infectious disease outbreaks based on the science of their time.
During the American Revolution, George Washington worked to contain a smallpox epidemic by isolating anyone suspected of infection and limiting outside contact with his army. In 1776, when the British withdrew from Boston, Washington mandated that only soldiers that had already been infected be allowed into the city.
In 1796, in response to a deadly yellow fever outbreak, Congress passed the first federal quarantine law, which was signed by Washington. It authorized the federal government to help states enforce quarantines as necessary.
There’s more history below, courtesy of Jordan’s Twitter critics.
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