Divisions emerged along a worn north-south divide, for ideological and geographic reasons at the national and state levels, and for the level of respect shown by political leaders for epidemiological science.
The hodgepodge should not do much to inspire confidence in a population which, according to polls, is especially skeptical about the emergence of their homes. And this confidence will be essential to trigger the economic rebound that everyone wants.
Trump, with a clear eye on his prospects for re-election, suggests that normal life and the rapid end of the terrible economic deprivation caused by the virus are upon us.
“We are reopening America. Twenty states representing 40% of the population have announced that they are planning and preparing for a safe economic recovery in the very near future,” said the president in the White House.
“We cannot break our country on this. We must go,” he said, one day when the deaths of Covid-19 in the United States reached more than 44,000.
The widening divide was caused for the first time by Georgia’s aggressive decision to revive businesses like nail and hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors on Friday, although it has yet abided by the White House plans to know when it is safe to open.
An expanding coalition of conservative southern states led by governors who widely support Trump is emerging. Mississippi governor Tate Reeves said he had spoken with other southern governors about what the reopening would look like.
“We all have similar minds. We each have different circumstances and situations that are unique to each state,” said Reeves.
“And so I’m not at all surprised that this is exactly what I expected to happen with some in the South, keep working to reopen.”
Trump is doing nothing to slow down the southern coalition. In fact, he seems to be an inspiration to governors who are showing signs of putting ideology above science, ignoring bothersome facts and science in their plans to open up to a desire to please. to conservative media cheerleaders – in a fallout fallacy case.
The instinct of the South group contrasts with several blocks of bipartisan states in the Northeast, Midwest and West which are more cautious and extend the closings – thus prolonging an economic collapse that has cost millions of jobs.
Health experts worried about plans reopening
The aggressive approach of the South reflects Trump’s enthusiasm for reviving the economy. But this dismays public health experts, who fear that a premature easing of stoppages will cause a new peak of infections even before the initial wave is under control.
Such warnings give the impression that political considerations are paramount. The zeal for opening does not seem to meet the test by the government’s top infectious disease specialist, Anthony Fauci, that the “virus will decide” when it is safe to reopen. Fauci was again absent from Trump’s briefing on Tuesday.
Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, said that she was concerned about a possible second wave of infections in the fall, modeled on Redfield’s warning to the Washington Post.
“I’m also worried about a second wave coming sooner. I’m really worried about states that are loosening some of the rules for staying at home earlier. We might have a second wave even earlier than fall . It’s very concerning, “she told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
The best scenario following an aggressive reopening in the southern states, unlike more hard-hit northern epicenters like New York and Michigan, is that it could create test cases on how to revive the economy while keeping the disease at bay. This would mean that most of the warnings from medical and public health experts are wrong.
Opening up now is therefore a huge risk. Just because the infection curve is flattened doesn’t mean it can’t go up, because the disease has no proven therapies and so far there is no vaccine.
The Trump administration’s failure to set up a national testing infrastructure makes the openings even more dangerous, as it is impossible to pinpoint the penetration of the pandemic in the states. The lack of screening complicates the task of diagnosis, tracing and isolation of infected patients and exposed persons.
Trump, however, rejects academic studies that show that millions of tests must be done every day nationwide to guarantee the safety of the process of restoring the economy.
“Not everyone wants to do such important testing. Testing is good in some cases. And in some cases it is not,” Trump said in a statement that was neither accurate nor rooted in made.
“You have governors who don’t want to get into testing because they think they can do it in a different and better way,” said the president.
Trump defends Governor of Georgia
“He’s a very capable man. He knows what he’s doing,” said the president.
Dr. Deborah Birx, a senior member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, appeared to be walking a political tightrope alongside the president, not directly criticizing Kemp but suggesting apparent disapproval of the return of companies like salons.
“If there is a way for people to socially distance themselves and do these things, then they can do these things. I don’t know how. But people are very creative. So I’m not going to prejudge,” a said Birx.
Trump also undermined the notion of social distancing when he said, wrongly, that conservative protesters demanding reopening kept their distance from each other.
He implicitly reprimanded the director of the CDC Redfield, who had previously declared that such demonstrations were “not useful”.
“It is not a question of help or not. People want to go back to work. And I watched some of the protests, not in detail, but I saw it, and they are separate.” Television footage of the protests suggests that Trump is not truthful.
The nature of the American political system, the size of the country and the differences in virus intensity from place to place mean that there is not and should not be a single method of reopening.
But the fact that so many officials are prepared to shirk the White House guidelines that stipulate 14-day infection monitoring before opening is contemplated and, in many cases, the concerns of health experts and other local leaders are threatening widespread confusion.
For example, in Texas, Dallas County extended its residence orders until May 15. But Governor Greg Abbott said that if he ordered the opening of a business next week, his authority would prevail.
Trump’s ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, said he supported the decision of his home state, South Carolina, to reopen beaches and some stores, but was concerned about events across the border.
“I fear our friends and neighbors in Georgia are going too fast too soon,” Graham wrote on Twitter.
Colombian Democratic Mayor Stephen Benjamin warned that decisions made by governors like Henry McMaster of Palmetto State were not based on sound science.
“The challenge lies in places like Florida and Georgia and, yes, even here in South Carolina, there is not this data-driven dialogue rather than these arbitrary dates that our governors continue to present”, said Benjamin on CNN.
“The goal should be to reopen an economy resistant to a pandemic or a pandemic.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a staunch supporter of the President, has ordered his reopening task force to work on how to minimize the risks when opening businesses.
The curve appears to be flattening in Florida, but the state reported more than 800 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of nearly 28,000 diagnosed infections and more than 860 deaths.
In a Trumpian dash, DeSantis attacked the media, which he said created stories that “Florida is about to be capsized by this flood of sick people and it doesn’t happen.” Then people have to realize that a lot of what has been said has not been proven to be true. “
There was evidence of more Trump-style decision-making when it was revealed that Georgia Kemp had not informed its Covid-19 task force members on Monday before making a radical announcement about the reopening.
In a Facebook video, Bernice King, co-chair of the task force, said that she had discovered the governor’s intention through a text message from a friend.