Arizona has teamed up with Texas to curb its reopening plans amid a sharp rise in coronavirus infections, as cases are now on the rise in 29 states and there were 39,000 new cases on Thursday, the second consecutive day to show the highest daily maximum since the national peak in late April of the pandemic.
Health experts warned Friday that the United States was not doing enough testing for Covid-19 and that simply pausing plans to reopen in some states, as others continue to roar, would not be enough to stop the spread of the disease.
“Pausing the reopening is not enough. We have to try to ‘put the horse back in the stable,’ so to speak … we need to start reversing the opening, ”Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard University Institute of Global Health, told ABC on Friday by the morning.
He warned that hospitals will be overwhelmed in southern and western states where infections are on the rise, unless leaders take more forceful steps to stop the spread.
Jha urged further testing, saying the United States was not doing enough, even though it is conducting an estimated 500,000 tests per day, after the CDC said Thursday that there were probably about 10 times as many Americans as having or they had had coronaviruses than the current ones. Show Stats.
“Cases are lacking because there is not enough evidence, they are far below where they should be,” Jha said.
Donald Trump on Thursday repeated his false claim that more evidence is responsible for the increase in the number of reported cases.
“If you didn’t do the tests, you wouldn’t have cases,” he said on a trip to Wisconsin.
A poll by ABC / Ipsos on Friday showed that 56% of Americans believe the country is reopening too quickly, with no vaccine and no cure available for Covid-19.
Jha urged Americans to wear face masks in public. “It is a fairly small step to ensure that our hospitals are not overwhelmed,” she said, noting that the masks help prevent the spread, despite a high-profile anti-mask reaction in some parts of the country.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott abruptly halted the push to loosen more restrictions and is now urgently asking people to stay home.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, like Abbott a Republican, did the same, declaring the state “on hiatus” as hospitals accelerate capacity.
As an alarming resurgence of coronavirus sets records for confirmed cases and hospitalizations across the southern and western United States, governors are retreating to measures they once resisted and are setting a more urgent tone.
“I think they are going to have to,” said Dr. Mark McClellan, former head of the Food and Drug Administration. “It doesn’t take most people in a community to get sick to overwhelm healthcare systems.”
Critics claim the actions are too small, or worse, possibly too late, as patients fill intensive care beds and the US is nearing record highs for confirmed daily cases.
But Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who until recently rarely covered his face, said he will not impose mask orders statewide or delay the reopening. And Abbott says shutting down the Texas economy again is a last resort.
The latest data from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research says that many Americans never fully embraced the reopening effort now underway in many states.
Most Americans still have concerns about hiring Covid-19, and a significant portion still supports the types of public health restrictions that states have reversed.
The number of cases in Duval County, which is home to Jacksonville, Florida, where Republicans plan to hold their convention in August, after moving from North Carolina due to increased meeting restrictions, has skyrocketed along with the state numbers.
Congresswoman Donna Shalala of Florida, a former secretary of health and human services during the Clinton administration, asked DeSantis to correct the course.
“The president’s leadership followed, and the people died for it,” he said. “He can swing and take very strong steps.”
In Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson urged people to cover their faces and even begins his daily briefings by showing off his mask. But the Republican governor has resisted calls to demand them, arguing that it would be difficult to enforce in a rural state.
In Arizona, Ducey resisted pressure to close restaurants when the virus first spread in March, saying the state was not seeing explosive growth like New York and did not need to act as aggressively. Democratic mayors of Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and elsewhere have imposed their own restrictions.
The governor responded with an executive order that closed restaurants in counties with known coronavirus infections, but also defined some businesses that cities could not restrict, such as golf courses.
Last week, Ducey changed his mind. Under extreme pressure to act as Covid-19 cases skyrocket, Ducey gave local leaders the power to demand masks, while avoiding being a state mandate.
The numbers “continue to go in the wrong direction,” Ducey said Thursday.