May 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

DOJ warns L.A. against "long-term" coronavirus lockdown, as county reopens

In this image, a woman buys ice cream from a street vendor

A street vendor sells a snow cone in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on May 21. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration warned Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday that a "long-term lockdown" of the city "may be both arbitrary and unlawful," in a letter from Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband.

Where it stands: L.A. County is reporting the most coronavirus cases and fatalities in California, with 42,063 cases and 2,016 deaths as of Thursday, data from the state health department show.

Flashback: California was the first state in the U.S. to order all residents to stay home.

Of note: Separately, the DOJ challenged Illinois' stay-at-home order in federal court on Friday, arguing that the governor's orders extended beyond the scope of the state's 30-day state of emergency.

Go deeper: California to allow some retailers to reopen as state scales up contact tracing program

Go deeper