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March 20, 2020


Dear Governors Hogan and Cuomo:

On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, thank you for your bipartisan leadership of the National Governors Association, and your hard work combating the coronavirus pandemic and supporting families and businesses. Like all significant challenges that we have faced as a nation, this one requires the response of both the private and public sectors.

We all agree that decisive action is critical to mitigating the short- and long-term impact of the pandemic. However, many well-intentioned state and local governments are contemplating or issuing stay at home orders or orders allowing only movement of workers involved in essential businesses. We understand the importance of social distancing and limiting interactions as much as possible as the nation seeks to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.

At the same time, we must find the right balance so that essential critical infrastructure workers—as identified in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) recent Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response—can continue to support public health and safety, as well as the economic and national security of the United States.

Therefore, we request your support in urging state and local governments to be thoughtful in these orders and align them with DHS’s guidance, which is largely consistent with the Chamber’s recommendations outlined in my letter to President Trump, dated March 18, 2020.

We understand that orders may be adjusted to reflect changing conditions and we are pleased that California Governor Gavin Newsom referenced the CISA guidance in his state’s recent stay in place order. We believe reliance upon common standards is critical at this time.

Thank you for your attention to this concern and your ongoing leadership.


Thomas J. Donohue

cc: All U.S. Governors

United States Conference of Mayors

National Association of Counties

200320 shelterinplaceorders nga