As America goes through the phase deadliest So far from the coronavirus pandemic, governors and local officials in heavily affected parts of the country show little disposition to impose new restrictions on businesses to contain the spread.
And, unlike in 2020, when the quarantine debate often divided parties, now both Democrats and Republicans They signal their opposition to forced closures and other measures.
Some have expressed fear that the strong economic damage caused by the crisis. Others note little patience among the electorate to impose more restrictions 10 months after the crisis began. And some more seem to be more focused on the distribution of vaccines, something that would eventually end the threat.
The most notable change in tone was that of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, who imposed a severe quarantine last spring, when the state became the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.
“We just can’t stay closed until the vaccine reaches critical mass. The cost is too high. We won’t have anything left to open, ” Cuomo said this week when it was confirmed that infections in the state rose to an average of 16,000 per day and deaths reached approximately 170 per day.
Theaters remain closed and you can’t eat inside restaurants in New York City, but Cuomo said Tuesday that if a rapid virus testing system could be developed, it would allow those sectors to return more safely.
In January, the situation was different. And several businesses were closed in New York. Photo: AP
In Arizona, where the pandemic is raging, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has been adamant in his opposition to the mandatory use of a mask at the state level or the closure of bars, gyms and restaurants, despite repeated requests from hospital managers to take such measures.
“If we are all in this together, then we have to understand that for many families, quarantine does not mean inconvenience; it means catastrophe, Ducey said.
Governors of other hotspots, such as Texas, have expressed similar views, while other states relax restrictions even when the number of deaths in the United States is close to 380,000 and the cases exceed 22.7 million. The average daily death rate nationwide is above 3,200.
In fact, in the last 24 hours it registered almost 4,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
This is the second time that the country most affected by the pandemic exceeds 4,000 deaths in one day since January 7, when it registered 4,194.
Two friends celebrate at a café in Minneapolis. Photo: AP
Minnesota once again allowed people to eat at restaurants this week, and Michigan will do the same on Friday. Nevada’s rules expire Friday.
Even in states with more stringent measures in place, like California, people they disobey the rules. On Monday, when intensive care units in Southern California were crammed with patients, people they filled the beaches from San Diego to see this week’s high surf, many within 6 feet (1.8 meters) of each other and without chinstraps.
Other Americans have also ignored the rules. Tourists from the United States spent Christmas and New Years in the Caribbean coast of Mexicowhile thousands of University of Alabama football fans packed bars Monday night to celebrate the national championship.
Huge lines to get tested in Florida. Photo: AP
More of 9.3 million Americans have received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a slow distribution for a campaign that will have to inoculate probably 85% of the population, or close to 300 million people, to beat the virus.
On Tuesday, the administration of President Donald Trump announced plans to speed up vaccination by distributing nearly twice as many vaccines, rather than keeping large quantities in reserve to ensure people get the second dose on time.
The practice of storing doses was due to fears of production delays, but officials say now they trust that there will be supplies.
By Julie Watson and Terry Tang, Associated Press