According to the United States’ top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ economy could open as early as next month.
Speaking to CNN, Fauci said that the reopening of the economy would be a gradual process that is largely based on the status of the pandemic in various parts of the US and the availability of rapid, widespread testing. Fauci then went on to state that he “can’t guarantee” that it would be safe for Americans to vote in the upcoming US election.
Some states may reopen as soon as May, with Fauci acknowledging that as soon as restrictions across the country ease, there will be an increase in people getting infected, calling that “just reality.”
So far, Trump has been pushing to reopen the economy as unemployment climbs, consumer prices fall and talk of economic recession dominates on both a national and a global scale.
With social distancing guidelines set to expire at the end of this month, Trump has stated that he will be making a decision on whether or not to reopen the country “fairly soon.”
This follows an interview on Fox News on Saturday where Trump said that he would use “facts and a lot of instinct” to make his decision.
How it would look
Speaking to CNN, Fauci stressed that the reopening of the economy would not be a “light switch that we say, OK, it is now June, July or whatever, click, the light switch goes back on.
“It’s going to be depending (on) where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you have already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced.
“I think it’s going to have to be something that is not one size fits all.”
Push back from state governments
In an interview with CNN, national correspondent Kristen Holmes reported that, up to now, Trump has for the most part avoided making decisions on how to respond to the pandemic, largely leaving such decisions up to the states.
“President Trump himself did not issue any sort of national stay-at-home order… in fact he said that was the job of the governors.”
Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, has announced that the reopening of the state will largely depend on tests and that he has not set an “artificial deadline” on when that may happen.
New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy, shared a similar sentiment.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Murphy said, “I fear, if we open up too early, and we have not sufficiently made that health recovery and cracked the back of this virus, that we could be pouring gasoline on the fire, even inadvertently.”