Seven states in the United States, in addition to Puerto Rico, began to reopen their economy this Monday, while privately the White House estimates that the death rate could double to 3,000 a day, according to local media information that the Government denies.
Seven states (Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia) and Puerto Rico, an associated free territory of the United States with limited autonomy, began to roll up the blinds of some restaurants, gyms, and beauty salons.
However, the revival is being gradual and each state is dictating its own rules on which businesses to reopen, under what conditions, and which ones to keep closed.
For example, this Monday, most Florida restaurants and stores were able to hang the “open” sign, but they only served customers until they reached 25% of capacity.
The Florida reopening plan does not apply to the two Miami metropolitan area counties (Miami-Dade and Broward) or Palm Beach, which will continue to be quarantined because they have been hardest hit by the virus, which in the entire state has left over 35,000 infections and over 1,300 deaths.
In Florida, gyms and beauty salons are still closed, although they have already opened in other states such as Missouri and South Carolina.
In total, 24 of the 50 states in the United States have already reopened part of their economy, while those hardest hit by the pandemic, such as New York, neighboring New Jersey and Michigan, remain closed, although they plan to begin a phased reopening in the next weeks.
For his part, the Governor of California, the Democrat Gavin Newsom, announced that this Friday retail stores such as bookstores, florists, toy stores and sports goods outlets, among others, will open their doors; although restaurants have not yet received authorization.
“We are going to enter the next phase this week. This is a very positive signal and it has happened for only one reason: the data says it can happen,” Newsom told a news conference.
California was one of the first states hit by the virus, but in recent weeks it has managed to reduce the number of infections, which in total has reached 52,000.
As preparations to reopen the economy accelerate, the government has raised its predictions about the mortality of the virus, according to The New York Times and The Washington Post, which accessed an internal document from the Centers for Control on Monday. and Disease Prevention (CDC).
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According to that document, the Executive estimates that the virus could leave 3,000 deaths every day until June 1, almost double compared to the current average of 1,750.
In addition, infections could reach 200,000 daily by the end of the month, about 25,000 more cases than those currently counted.
In response, a White House spokesman, Judd Deere, did not deny that these estimates are true, but explained that the document accessed by the newspapers is not definitive, has not been endorsed by the different branches of the Government and has not been reviewed by the expert group created to deal with the pandemic.
For this reason, Deere defended that the data “are not representative” and contradict the “scientific approach” of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
“The president’s rules for reopening the United States are based on a scientific approach that has been agreed by leading federal health and infectious disease experts. The health of the American people remains President Trump’s top priority,” Deere stressed.
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On Sunday, in an interview with the Fox network, the president already raised his prediction of the number of deaths and said that the virus could cost the lives of between 75,000 and 100,000 people in the United States.
Despite the risks, the president has invited states to reopen their businesses to avoid further deterioration in the economy with high unemployment and debt figures.
This same Monday, Trump gave the Treasury Department permission to issue debt worth $ 2.99 trillion from April to June, with the aim of financing the stimulus measures.
The $ 2.99 trillion of public debt is almost double what the Treasury borrowed for all of last year, when it issued $ 1.28 trillion of debt.