Coronavirus: We Cannot Rush an End to Lockdowns

Yesterday jobless claims revealed that 16 million Americans have lost their jobs in 3 weeks while a new study warned that lockdowns shouldn’t be fully lifted until a COVID-19 vaccine is made available–which is still many months away.

However as the Washington Post reported, President Trump said yesterday that mass testing for the coronavirus is not necessary for the United States to get back to normal, contradicting experts who say widespread testing is critical to ease out of social distancing. His plan is to have the country reopened next month–it’s admittedly a difficult decision but going back to work too soon could exacerbate economic pain.

Why This Matters: Each day President Trump speaks about his aspirations to end the lockdown in direct contradiction to what science is telling us and what many mayors fear will make the spread worse in their cities. Former President Obama, who has generally kept a low profile was compelled to speak out about this (though indirectly). He told a group of mayors yesterday that “the biggest mistake any (of) us can make in these situations is to misinform.” Coronavirus misinformation is now its own deadly condition.

Obama also added that it’s necessary for mayors to “Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion. Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through.”

In contrast, former Vice President Al Gore was not so subtle about Trump’s lack of acceptance of scientific facts.

One Cool Thing: Los Angeles, as well as many cities throughout India, are notorious for their polluted air. However, as shelter in place orders continue, LA now has some of the cleanest air of any major city and residents of the state of Punjab have been able to see the Himalayas for the first time in decades.

A Run in the Park: For many city dwellers, a run or walk outside has been a small way to stay sane, healthy, and get some exercise. But now in Paris, the city has banned outdoor exercise from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to slow the spread of coronavirus as social distancing had become difficult in outdoor spaces. Could your city be the next to do this?

Remembering Our Troops: As ABC News reported yesterday, nearly 2,000 U.S. service members currently have the novel coronavirus, according to new data published by the Defense Department. Though the infection rate for servicemembers is still low, it has sparked some fears among military officials that the virus could impact our military readiness.

A Bit of Good News: Model revisions for the COVID-19 now predict fewer deaths in the United States than previously projected. California saw its first decrease in coronavirus ICU hospitalizations. Hospitalization rates are also falling across the Northeast, though those states are far from being in the clear.

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