Javier AnsorenaFOLLOWNew York Correspondent
Updated: 04/24/2020 10: 24h
Georgia, a southern state with a strong Republican presence, begins its Friday “Reopening” after three weeks of confinement. Its Governor, Brian Kemp, a firm ally of Donald Trump, was reluctant to implement the confinement order and has now accelerated the return to normality.
From now on, the residents of the state will be able to go to the gym, the hairdresser, do their nails or the bowling alley, one of their favorite distractions. Starting Monday, restaurants, cinemas and other entertainment businesses will open. Kemp has insisted that it be done with caution and with the recommendations of keep the distance between people, take the temperature to the workers and take extreme measures of hygiene and disinfection in the establishments.
For many public health experts, it is a wrong decision. Georgia is, after Louisiana, the southeastern US state. more affected by the coronavirus crisis, with more than 800 dead. The governors of other states in the country, such as Tennessee, Ohio or Colorado, have assured that they will not extend the confinement orders that expire at the end of next week. Texas or Florida also have combative governors who have been in favor of accelerating the revival.
But the case of Georgia, the only one that has advanced the end of the restrictions, is the most significant. Above all, because it has caused a confrontation with Trump. The US President It has taken a turn in the last two days in its intention to reactivate the country – with millions of new unemployed each week – at the highest speed. At the end of last month he said that USA would be “up and running” on April 12 -which proved impossible- and last week encouraged conservative groups protesting in the streets against the restrictions. On Thursday, he said he was unhappy with Kemp or his decision, a day after he had “strongly disagreed” with decreeing the end of confinement “too soon” (and two days after calling him a “very capable” politician). “Knows what he is doing”).
In the same appearance, after insisting for weeks that the United States will reopen “very soon”, acknowledged that the White House directives on distancing are very likely to lengthen beyond May 1. Asked if the extension would be until early summer, when the epidemic takes a breather, Trump replied that “it could be and could be beyond”, “until we believe it is safe to continue expanding.”
According to information from CNN, Trump’s change in position took place between pressures from the medical experts of his work group for the coronavirus: Anthony Fauci, the American authority on infectious diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the group. They were told they could not publicly support a Georgia decision, and Trump chose to align himself with them.
In a state where revival is still far away is New York, the epicenter of the crisis. Any steps to determine when and what can be reopened will require greater knowledge of the epidemic, and its governor, Andrew Cuomo, offered news Thursday: According to preliminary results from a study of coronavirus antibodies, 13.9% of the state and 21.2% from New York City test positive. It is a small sample -3,000 people-, but it certifies that those who have passed the disease are a much greater number than the official figures.