The GOP governors of three southern states have decided to ease coronavirus restrictions, permitting businesses to open.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that by Friday of this week, residents will be able to return to some semblance of daily life and will be able to go to the gym and get haircuts, pedicures, massages and tattoos, The New York Times reports. By next week Monday, restaurants will be open for dining, and Georgians will also be allowed to go to the movies. Bars and nightclubs will remain closed for the time being.
“I don’t give a damn about politics now,” Kemp said, according to the Los Angeles Times, insisting he was worried about his residents “going broke worried about whether they can feed their children and make the mortgage payment.”
Meanwhile, in Tenessee, Governor Bill Lee said that he had no intention of extending his stay-at-home order, which will run out on April 30. By May 1, his office noted “the vast majority of businesses in 89 counties” will be allowed to open their doors.
And then there’s South Carolina, where Governor Henry McMaster announced that department stores and a few other retail businesses will be allowed to reopen Tuesday (that’s TODAY), although social distancing guidelines should still be followed. Beaches will also be open to the public on Tuesday, The New York Times notes.
But the southern states aren’t the only ones challenging the novel coronavirus, which is still sweeping its way through the United States, where lack of testing is still an issue and there is still no real sign of decline in infections.
As the Los Angeles Times notes, none of those three states have maintained the 14 days of sustained decline in infections that guidelines from the White House have recommended be observed before lifting restrictions.
And those states aren’t the only ones stubbornly attempting to reopen in an attempt to ease the pressure on the economy.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, also a Republican, has also signaled plans to move the state back to some sense of normalcy. Starting on May 1, businesses will slowly start to be reopened while maintaining strict health guidelines.
“We’re going to do what we think is right—what I think is right—and that is try to open this economy,” Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, “but do it very, very carefully so we don’t get a lot of people killed. But we have to come back and that’s what we’re aiming to do May 1.”
In the meantime, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned against returning to everyday life and activities too soon
“It’s going to backfire,” Fauci said in an interview on Good Morning America. “That’s the problem.”
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