Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told CNBC that his state “really needs the federal government to step up on the health side and on the economic side” as the coronavirus pandemic barrels into a devastating new phase.
“We’re trying to do that as a state, we did a one-time plus up of $375 of unemployment insurance,” said Polis. “But we know that the capability of the state is nothing like the capability of the federal government.”
In October Gov. Polis signed the executive order to provide economic relief to Coloradans after he said Congress was unlikely to pass a relief package before the election. In a Monday evening interview on “The News with Shepard Smith”, Polis said that it’s not fair to impose a stay at home order, especially when the federal government was not offering the same benefits to Americans who would be forced out of work as it had done earlier in the pandemic.
“Folks would love to do the right thing, last time they got $1,200, got an unemployment plus-up, that’s not here this time,” said Polis. “It’s a very rational thing for someone to say they’d take a chance with the virus.”
Colorado is facing pandemic highs for both hospitalizations and confirmed cases. Those who need care in a hospital for Covid are up 70% this month. There have been more than 2,200 Covid deaths in Colorado, and 6% of the total deaths from the pandemic have been added in November. The Denver Post reported that 83% of the state’s intensive care-unit beds were being used. Polis told host Shepard Smith that he was working to ensure that his state’s hospitals did not exceed capacity.
“We’ve worked mightily to expand that capacity with our hospitals, with some alternative centers, we activated some additional staffing last week,” said Polis. “We want to make sure for Covid and for non-Covid that anybody who needs medical treatment can get it.”
The United States topped more than 11 million cases on Sunday. John Hopkins reported the latest million cases were added only in the past six days alone. At least 26 states have hit all-time highs for hospitalizations last week, according to the Covid Tracking Project. More than 1,100 deaths are being reported each day on average in the U.S. because of the coronavirus pandemic.