Chair Grijalva Statement on Interior Secretary Bernhardt Encouraging Public Lands Visits During Coronavirus Pandemic
Washington, D.C. – Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt’s recent message to the American people encouraging visits to public lands during the coronavirus pandemic.
“While I understand the appeal of outdoor recreation during a difficult time, Interior Secretary Bernhardt needs to prioritize the health and safety of visitors to national parks and public lands during this crisis. The Trump administration must establish clear safety protocols for employees and visitors to prevent the spread of coronavirus on public lands. There is no reason for Americans to ignore clear directives from public health professionals recommending limited public engagement and exposure in public places. For someone in Secretary Bernhardt’s position, it is cavalier at best and profoundly dangerous at worst to encourage public lands visits without encouraging all visitors to avoid crowding of high-traffic areas and popular parks. He should revise his recommendations to better reflect the advice of public health experts.”
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