Both Republican and Democratic governors are going on defense as they continue reopening their states’ economies, despite an uptick in reported coronavirus cases.
Coronavirus cases are increasing in California, but Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is defending his decision to continue to reopen his state’s economy.
“There’s a certain point where you have to recognize you can’t be in a permanent state where people are locked away for months and months and months on end,” Newsom said Monday.
“As we reopen inevitably we’re going to see an increase in the overall number of cases,” adding he is urging California residents to “do the kinds of thing that are necessary for us to avoid that second wave,” including wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing.
The state of California has seen a steady increase in new cases, and has a total of 154,258 cases and more than 5,000 deaths, as of Tuesday morning.
Newsom — who was the first governor to lockdown his state amid the coronavirus outbreak — is not the only governor defending the decision to reopen a state’s economy.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is also pushing back on some criticism he has received, showing it in some of his recent decisions.
Since Florida’s reopening phase one on May 18, confirmed coronavirus cases stayed somewhat steady shortly after and then began to climb at the start of June. There are over 77,000 known cases and more than 2,9000 deaths due to the virus in the state.
Despite cases spiking in Florida, DeSantis is defying the critics and allowing the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville in August. He also waved the green flag at Sunday’s NASCAR event.
Last Friday, DeSantis spoke on the economic boost of holding the Republican National Convention in the state, saying, “You’re talking about a massive economic impact. I think you’re gonna have folks that are going to be able to spend a lot of money. I think it’ll help with the economic recovery. … Look, we’re not out of the woods with the jobs by any stretch.”
WATCH LIVE: Florida governor holds news conference
WATCH LIVE: Florida governor holds news conferencePosted by PBS NewsHour on Friday, June 12, 2020
Additionally, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) said on Friday — as the state is also seeing an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations and cases — that moving into the next stage of reopening is not “off the table.” He noted on Monday that he will make an announcement next week on the decision for moving into the next phase of reopening.
The reopening of states’ economies has caused coronavirus cases to spike in several U.S. states, specifically in the Sun Belt and the West.
The increase has caused some to wonder if there would be any new lockdowns. However, Christine Petersen, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa, said, “I don’t think there will be new shutdowns. There isn’t the political will to do it any longer it seems. Now we are in the pandemic wild west.”
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, top U.S. infectious disease official, noted on Friday that as states start reopening their economies, they were bound to see an increase in coronavirus cases, as IJR reported.
He added at the time, telling CNN, “But when you start seeing more hospitalizations, that’s a sure fire sign that you’re in a situation where you’re going in the wrong direction.”
As The New York Times noted, the overall number of cases in the U.S. has stayed steady, at a plateau. There are 2,183,126 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 118,000 deaths and over 890,000 recoveries, as of Tuesday morning.