Why are city leaders so slow to act to help mitigate the imminent dire affects of the coronavirus?

With an inept, totally unqualified president seemingly interested in hearing only good news, Americans look to our state and local leadership to act during this crisis.

Why haven’t local leaders closed all nonessential businesses and issued a stay-at-home order? The city has – for some unknown, and in my opinion bizarre, reason – closed only some businesses beginning Monday. Do they believe the Covid-19 virus will be polite and wait until after Monday to infect people?

Many governors throughout the country have closed nonessential businesses and issued stay-in-home orders. Gov. Charlie Baker has not acted similarly, and Cambridge needs to send a message to him by acting now within its own borders.Other communities will follow, and soon Baker will be forced to act.

Update on March 23, 2020: Gov. Charlie Baker has issued an order beginning at noon Tuesday and running until noon on April 7 to close all nonessential businesses to workers and the public, except for essential workers (including those at grocery stores, pharmacies,  transportation workers, first responders and health care workers, for instance) and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people.

I have family in Italy. As of this writing, that country has surpassed 5,000 deaths. Two to three weeks ago, Italy was where we are now. Italy wishes it could go back in time.


Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi is an East Cambridge resident, longtime immigrant activist and former liaison for immigrant affairs to the Cambridge Mayor’s Office.