United States President Donald Trump authorized the reopening of religious temples and urged governors to do so this weekend, even though the country remains the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 1.6 million cases and nearly 96,000 deaths.
In concrete numbers, according to the official balance tonight, the United States has counted 1,600,481 confirmed cases of coronavirus and a total of 95,886 deaths to date, according to an independent count by Johns Hopkins University. This means that in the last 24 hours there were 25,417 infections and 1,225 new deaths, EFE reported.
At a press conference, Trump announced the designation of churches, synagogues and mosques as “essential places,” making them federally considered crucial during the health emergency, as well as hospitals or food factories.
“Some governors considered liquor stores or abortion clinics to be essential but left churches out. That is not right, so today I correct that injustice and urge governors to allow it to open right now,” he urged.
The republican magnate even went so far as to threaten to suspend the authority of the governors if they did not allow it, despite the fact that it is the authorities of the states and counties that have the power to decide whether or not to resume economic and social activity in an area.
“The United States needs more prayers, not less,” insisted the president, who had already tried to reopen the churches at Easter, in full exponential growth of the outbreak but finally had to back down.
Trump explained that soon the government Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will give more information on the recommendations to follow, reported the EFE news agency.
However, the final word is with the governors, who apply them as they deem appropriate based on how the pandemic affects their fellow citizens and available hospital resources.
In recent days, the number of infections has increased considerably in the southern state of Florida, which is close to 50,000 cases after having registered 976 new ones in the last 24 hours and more than 1,200 the day before.
Overall, Florida recorded 49,451 infected and 2,190 dead, according to the latest official report.
Despite these figures, the reopening that began on May 4 extends into the territory and some will even venture to make their first trips in the coming long weekend.
The health crisis had a strong economic impact in Florida, where the unemployment rate tripled from the start of the pandemic to nearly 13%, with more than 1.2 million unemployed in April, according to official data released today.
A fervent advocate of flexibilization, Florida Governor Republican Ron DeSantis announced today the reopening of the children’s neighborhoods and the resumption of team sports so that “the children have a relatively normal summer” but specified that it will be the organizations, local governments and parents who will make the final decision in this regard.
In Miami and Miami Beach, which entered phase 1 of the reopening on Monday, the restaurants will operate from Wednesday to the public.
While in New York State, the main focus of the pandemic nationwide, there was a slight increase in the daily balance of deaths from coronavirus today, with 109 deaths, four more than the day before, according to the New York governor, the Democrat. Andrew Cuomo.
Despite this slight increase, there were 225 hospitalizations in the last day, the lowest rate since the start of the outbreak, which is the third consecutive day with less than 300 hospitalizations for Covid-19, Cuomo announced at a press conference.
New York was the state hardest hit by the pandemic, with a total of 358,154 infections and 23,195 deaths, of which 193,951 cases and 16,333 deaths were recorded in the Big Apple, the national epicenter of the pandemic, according to the latest official report.
Despite these alarming figures, the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, assured this morning that the city could begin the reopening “the first or the second week of June” if they managed to be sustained below certain “thresholds” in its Covid-19 indicators.
The city must remain “between 10 and 14 days” -the estimated incubation time- below 200 daily admissions and 375 intensive care patients, in addition to registering less than 15% of positive cases out of the total of residents tested , he specified.
But Cuomo, who has traditionally maintained differences with De Blasio, insisted that the last word is with state authority.
“We said it from the beginning, there is only one standard that is determined by the data, it is not a political issue,” he warned.