Next Wave of U.S. States Prepare to Re-Open While Red Texas Takes A Softer Approach
A number of U.S. states have plans to get rid of Wuhan virus restrictions in the upcoming weeks.
This runs against the advice of public health experts, who believe that right now is not the most optimal time to re-open the economy.
However, with unemployment rates possibly reaching 16 percent, some states will have to consider opening up lest they want to face increased unrest.
For health experts, this may be a bridge to far.
They are of the opinion that increased human activity could kick off a new wave of Wuhan virus cases.
Colorado, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana and Tennessee will be joining other states in their efforts to gradually reopen economies without possessing the testing infrastructure health experts believe has to be in place in order to prevent the virus from resurfacing.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have already rolled out plans to restart their economies following a month of government-mandated lockdowns.
Thanks to government restrictions, a record 26.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims since the middle of March. The Congressional Budget Office reported on April 24 that the economy would shrink by nearly a 40 percent annual rate in the second quarter. Additionally, the CBO predicts that the unemployment rate will be averaging around 10 percent
White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said before reporters that the unemployment rate would likely hit 16% or higher in April.
“I think the next couple of months are going to look terrible,” Hassett said on April 26. “You’re going to see numbers as bad as anything we’ve ever seen before.”
Tennessee announced it will allow restaurants to reopen on April 27. Mississippi’s shutdown order expires on that same day.
Montana is letting businesses reopen on April 27 as long as they limit capacity and practice social distancing, while Minnesota will let some businesses restart the same day, allowing 80,000 to 100,000 people in the industrial, manufacturing and office jobs to resume their normal work activity.
In Colorado, Democratic Governor Jared Polis approved retail curbside pickup to begin on April 27. Hair salons, barbershop, and tattoo parlors will be allowed to open on May 1, with retail stores, restaurants, and movie theaters soon to follow.
However, Colorado’s easing of restrictions is not consistent across the state. The city of Denver, for example, extended stay-at-home orders to May 8 but residents can still drive to a neighboring county for a haircut. Georgia has prohibited any local laws that are more stringent than the state law.
Eight states did not even implement shelter orders — Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Certain grassroots activists in Texas are becoming angsty about the Lone Star State’s inaction on re-opening the economy.
Michael Quinn Sullivan, the CEO of Empower Texans, tweeted the following:
““Hmmm…Texas isn’t on this list,@GregAbbott_TX. Why is that?”
— Michael Quinn Sullivan🇺🇸 (@MQSullivan) April 26, 2020
Although Governor Greg Abbott has expressed his intentions to reopen the economy, he has not put a definitive plan forward.
Hopefully, the U.S. reverts to some sanity by implementing re-opening measures.
The economic toll from such shutdowns is simply too large when confronting a viral outbreak that simply isn’t the end of the world.