During a media briefing on April 15, the President of United States of America, Donald Trump along with the members of the coronavirus task force, had announced that the country would be re-opening some of its states. Making it known that the country has presently “Passed the peak” of new coronavirus cases, the president feels it will be in the country’s best interest to re-open some of the least affected states to ensure that their economy stays afloat. The USA has over 7,42,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 40,000 deaths, the highest for any country in the world as on April 19.
The pandemic has caused some frustration for Trump, who had to close down the world’s biggest economy, 200 days before his bid for re-election in November 2020. Over 20 million people have lost their jobs in just one month due to the shutdown. Allowing the citizens to restart their lives may lock in those extra votes needed!
Is it Safe?
On Thursday, the white house on the daily coronavirus briefing announced the re-opening would be slow, cautious and very different across the vast country. They also stated that the guidelines issued will follow a three-phase opening that allows slight relaxation of social distancing, travel restrictions and public gatherings. They mentioned three-phase opening would also have a gap of 14-days between the phases to ensure that the infections do not soar again.
The Three Phases:
- Phase one requires states or regions to continue the current coronavirus guidelines put in place. After meeting the given criteria, it was also mentioned that gatherings larger than ten people are to be avoided, and nonessential travel is to be discouraged.
- Phase two, under which states or regions with no evidence of resurgence that meet criteria a second time, can begin easing some of the social restrictions.
- Phase three, in which states and regions with no evidence of resurgence and meet the criteria a third time, lifts most restrictions. Vulnerable people may return to social settings while practicing physical distancing and visits to nursing homes and hospitals can resume.
“The guidelines provide Governors a fact-driven and science-based metric they will need to make the decisions that are right fort their own particular state,” said Trump. The power to make the decision is ultimately given to the Governors of the 50 states. Places with a decline in infections and strong testing kits will be among the first to open up.
The Governors for Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky have formed a partnership to work together on restarting the economies in their states, which collectively account for about 16 per cent of total U.S. economic output. The Governors also mentioned that they would re-start their states by May 1.
Response to the Re-opening
While some Governors are on board with this, the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo in a daily press briefing said that President Donald Trump had inaccurately asserted the President had total authority over when states re-open schools and businesses.“The President is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue,” said Cuomo.“The President will have no fight with me. I will not engage in it. We could lose all the progress we made in one week.”
Many Critics have also pointed out that the U.S lacks the testing abilities of contact tracing & contact testing, which is the close monitoring of people who have been in contact with a COVID19 patient. The idea is made out of pure political regime and not based on data-driven public health strategy.
The President and officials have said it is important to revive an economy that has been battered in the past month by jobless claims and steep falls in the stock market. But is the risk worth it? The United States has by far the highest death toll of any country in the global coronavirus pandemic, and public health officials have warned against a premature easing of social distancing orders. Is plan ‘Opening up America Again’ safe or is the whole world going to face the re-precautions of these decisions. If it’s safe for America, is it safe for the world?