Louisiana governor claims he had no idea Mardi Gras in New Orleans would trigger a coronavirus outbreak even though he was given a briefing on the epidemic WEEKS before the massive celebration was held
- Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said he wasn’t warned that by not canceling Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans it could cause an outbreak
- ‘There was not a single suggestion by anyone – a doctor, a scientist, a political figure – that we needed to cancel Mardi Gras,’ he told CNN Sunday morning
- Louisiana is the fourth-most affected state in the nation from the coronavirus outbreak with 370 deaths as of Sunday
- Edwards, and a few dozen other governors, were briefed by CDC Director Robert Redfield and immunologist Anthony Fauci February 9 of coronavirus threats
- Mardi Gras was celebrated February 25 with the traditional 2.5 hour parade down Bourbon Street in New Orleans with thousands attending
- The parade and celebrations likely led to the massive outbreak in the state
The governor of Louisiana said Sunday that he wasn’t told to cancel the massive Mardi Gras celebrations at the end of February, even though governors were briefed on the coronavirus threat weeks earlier.
‘There was not a single suggestion by anyone – a doctor, a scientist, a political figure – that we needed to cancel Mardi Gras,’ John Bel Edwards told CNN‘s State of the Union Sunday morning.
‘Rather than look back, I am focused on today and going forward,’ Edwards continued.
Although concerns over coronavirus and its ramifications didn’t manifest until March in the U.S., U.S. governors were briefed February 9 at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting by members of Donald Trump‘s coronavirus task force on the growing threat of the respiratory virus.
Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said Sunday that he wasn’t warned that by not canceling Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans it could cause a coronavirus outbreak
Louisiana is the fourth-deadliest state as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, likely stemming from the massive Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans on February 25 – weeks after Edwards was briefed of the virus’ threat
Louisiana makes up 370 deaths of the more than 8,500 across the U.S.
Despite this, many states did not immediately react and resumed business as normal, including New Orleans going forward with Mardi Gras celebrations and parades.
Mardi Gras was celebrated February 25 with the traditional parade down Bourbon Street, which usually takes about 2.5 hours and is attended by thousands of people from all over the country – and even many international travelers.
The celebrations across the state, and specifically in New Orleans, sparked a major outbreak in Louisiana, leading it to become the fourth deadliest state in the nation with 370 deaths as of Sunday.
Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield and the government’s top immunologist and infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci revealed the threats of coronavirus to governors in early February.
The NGA meeting was hosted by Chairman and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, and attended by more than half of the nation’s state leaders.
Hogan said Redfield and Fauci’s statements were alarming to several governors at the time.
‘The doctors and the scientists, they were telling us then exactly what they are saying now,’ Hogan, a Republican, told The Washington Post in an article published Saturday.
New York, New Jersey and Michigan are still more deadly than Louisiana with 3,565, 846 and 479 deaths respectively.
Louisiana has 10,297 confirmed cases of the virus out of the more than 312,000 in the U.S.
Edwards also told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that the state could run out of ventilators by the end of the week if the number of cases continues to surge like it has in the last few weeks.
The claim comes at the same time Trump and experts and doctors on his task force claim the next 11 days will be the most brutal for the U.S. so far, expecting to reach the peak of deaths on April 16, which is next Thursday.