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COVID-19: Gov. John Bel Edwards discussed virus with U.S. health experts before Mardi Gras


BATON ROUGE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday he and other governors met with top U.S. health officials in February to discuss the threat of the novel coronavirus, but they said nothing that would have suggested canceling Mardi Gras weeks later.

“We had a briefing from them. We spoke generally about the novel coronavirus,” Edwards told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union.

Tapper asked Edwards if his Feb. 9 meeting with Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, should have prompted cancellation of Mardi Gras scheduled just over two weeks later. 

Edwards said the information from the two U.S. health experts he received at the time about COVID-19 was limited. He said they did not provide any warnings or suggestions that events like Mardi Gras should be canceled to stop the virus’ spread.

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