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As State Economies Begin to Reopen, Is the Worst of the COVID-19 Pandemic Over?

04-27-2020
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Is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic over for the United States or is a second wave coming?

Government and health officials say it all depends on how Americans respond as some state economies start opening up this week.

Heat weary Californians defied stay at home orders and took to the beach Sunday. Temperatures soaring into the '90s caused some counties to ease stay at home restrictions.

Huntington Beach and Newport Beach were packed with sunbathers looking to cool off. Los Angeles County beaches remain closed.

It is just one example of what is happening nationwide. Fifteen states are reopening their economies this week, while other states hit hard by the COVID-19 virus remain closed.

With some Colorado businesses opening back up today, Gov. Jared Polis (D) urged people in his state to act responsibly.

"The stay at home was for nothing. It doesn't accomplish anything if it's not replaced with practices that are sustainable for the weeks and months that it is likely to remain with us," Polis said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin predicts the gradual re-openings will have a positive impact on the US economy.  

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"As we open up the economy in May and June, you will begin to see the economy bounce back in July, August, and September. And my expectation is that you will see an increasing rate of growth in those three months," Mnuchin explained.

That may be too long for some sectors, like the oil industry. US drillers closed 60 rigs this week, laying off hundreds of workers.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Still (R) wants President Trump to declare the pandemic ‘an act of God’ to protect oil producers from losing their leases.

However, there's positive news on the health front.

White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx said the latest projections provide hope that the number of new coronavirus infections will start coming down.  

"Social distancing will be with us through the summer to really insure that we protect one another as we move through these phases," Birx said.

Meanwhile, the White House says President Trump is pulling back from his daily coronavirus briefings. It is possibly a reaction to White House press corps reporting of the president's remarks about disinfectants and ultraviolet light for treatment.

Dr. Birx downplayed the president's comments on CNN's State of the Union program on Sunday.

"It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle because I think we're missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another," she said.

For now, Birx and others say to protect one another Americans must go slow, maintain social distancing rules. These responsible actions are needed to prevent a second massive coronavirus outbreak. 

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