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As USA Today reported, over the weekend the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. was closing in on 1 million but new cases appear to have reached a plateau, according to one of the nation’s top experts said.
“Unfortunately, it is a very high plateau,” said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Despite this many governors (mostly Democratic ones) have taken a cautious approach to reopening their economies. In Southern states, however, governors are rushing to reopen despite the fact that experts warn a “toxic mix” of extreme health inequities, lack of local hospitals, and poverty ensures the pandemic will “rage” through the South.
Why This Matters: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said his state has likely peaked in its number of coronavirus cases in early April–he said this despite the fact that Florida has seen a sudden spike in reported cases. This creates two narratives about the safety of reopening and it’s dangerous. We should trust doctors and public health experts with the decision to reopen–not politicians with an agenda. For instance, Dr. Deborah Birx has said that we need a testing “breakthrough” to screen the necessary amount of people. This means that people are going to have to decide for themselves if they’re willing to entrust the health of them and their families with politicians like DeSantis and President Trump who prioritize their political interests over public health.
The Florida Experiment: As Politico explained, Florida’s “Safer At Home” order expires April 30, and he’s set up a group primarily of business executives to advise him on how to do it, possibly on a region-by-region basis.
But if he does, it will turn Florida into a different kind of petri dish: A test of what happens when a livelihoods-over-lives politics collides with what businesses, families, and bar-goers are really willing to do.
But experts like Thomas LaVeist, dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University, warn that a rushed reopening will be a disaster. “I think that we could be heading for a macabre game of whack-a-mole,” LaVeist said in reference to a chaotic potential reopening and subsequent closing process.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer As the Delta variant of COVID-19 sweeps across the country, hospitals and public health officials are once again struggling to cope with the fallout. Simultaneously, extreme heat and wildfires have left the Western U.S. (and currently, Eastern ones too) experiencing dangerous levels of wildfire smoke. Now, a new study has now confirmed what […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer An investigation by The New York Times has found that in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) approved the use of PFAS in fracking despite its concerns of their toxicity. The records, which NYT acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), reveal that the E.P.A.’s scientists raised concern about the “forever chemicals,” saying that they could […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Hundreds of people have now died as a result of a heatwave that scorched the Pacific Northwest (PNW) this past week. In Oregon, 63 people have died in the last seven days, and British Columbia reported 486 deaths between last Friday and Wednesday alone. As the COVID-19 Delta variant begins making […]
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