UPDATED: California Displaces RI as the Most Aggressive State on Coronavirus

The updated WalletHub study reports Rhode Island is the second most aggressive state on coronavirus.
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Tuesday morning, WalletHub updated its rankings on the most aggressive states against the coronavirus. Last week, Rhode Island topped the list for Governor Gina Raimondo’s closures of schools, bars and restaurants, as well as travel restrictions for state employees.

But, this week, California unseated the Ocean State with its statewide shelter in place order. Rhode Island, which ranks as  the second most aggressive state on the coronavirus outbreak, has not yet mandated such an order, nor has it issued a stay at home order like neighboring Massachusetts. The governor has said she would like to maintain “some semblance of an economy” and also said she would consider shelter-in-place if Rhode Islanders do not abide by her ban on gatherings with more than ten people.

The report also offers commentary on the federal government’s approach to the economy, criticizing the Trump Administration for using recession or depression strategies for a pandemic.

“Instead, the government should do whatever it takes to create a federal payment holiday for April at the least. That means all bills due for both businesses and consumers – whether it’s a mortgage payment, a rent payment, utility payment, or any other kind of bill – should be erased,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of WalletHub. “If you combine a true payment holiday with direct relief sent to consumers to ensure the affordability of daily necessities, such as food and medicine, the situation becomes more manageable. It would also cost just a fraction as much as trying to fully replace people’s full paychecks. And, most importantly, it would not create an additional barrier to resuming normal economic life, since there would be no major bills waiting for people and businesses on the other side.”

It’s reassuring to see our state nearing the top of an important ranking when, for so long, we couldn’t seem to get out of our own way. Now, all we have to do is sit back, hunker down and keep a distance of six feet between us until the threat is minimized. Be sure to tune into the governor’s daily coronavirus briefings — we catch it on WPRI.com — and heed her guidance. We now have community transmission, and there’s a long way to fall from the top.

Stay safe out there.

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