The Tale Of Two New Mexico Mayors Highlights The Growing Chasm In Shutdown Views
New Mexico Mayors Louie Bonaguidi and Martin “Modey” Hicks both had to shut down their towns. One was relieved by the governor's decision, while the other was fighting mad. The two reactions reflect a growing divide as mayors, state officials and governors try to navigate their constituents out of lock down. Meanwhile, related news includes how many states that are taking steps to reopen don't meet White House guidelines for doing so, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo weighs in on the risks of opening too early.
The Washington Post:
America's Coronavirus Divide Is Reflected In Two New Mexico Mayors. One Asked For A Lockdown. The Other Defied Orders.
Louie Bonaguidi had been mayor of this tiny city set among high desert buttes and Native American reservations for just a matter of hours last week when the governor called. “I want to congratulate you on your election,” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham told him. “And give my condolences, because we’re locking your city down.” Bonaguidi was not disappointed to hear that state troopers would be deployed to blockade all roads into Gallup. He was relieved: This was the only way, he believed, to stop local hospitals from spinning out of control during a novel coronavirus outbreak that already had overwhelmed them. (Klemko and Witte, 5/6)
The New York Times:
Most States That Are Reopening Fail To Meet White House Guidelines
More than half of U.S. states have begun to reopen their economies or plan to do so soon. But most fail to meet criteria recommended by the Trump administration to resume business and social activities. The White House’s guidelines are nonbinding and ultimately leave states’ fates to governors. The criteria suggest that states should have a “downward trajectory” of either documented cases or of the percentage of positive tests. (Collins and Leatherby, 5/7)
Is Your State Testing Enough To Contain Its Coronavirus Outbreak?
To safely phase out social distancing measures, the U.S. needs more diagnostic testing for the coronavirus, experts say. But how much more? The Trump administration said on April 27 the U.S. will soon have enough capacity to conduct double the current amount of testing for active infections. The country has done nearly 248,000 tests daily on average in the last seven days, according to the nonprofit Covid Tracking Project. Doubling that would mean doing around 496,000 a day. (Stein and Wroth, 5/7)
New York Governor Says Some States Are Making A Mistake By Reopening
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that he believed states reopening their economies while seeing growing rates of infections from the novel coronavirus were making a mistake. “You have states that are opening where you are still on the incline,” Cuomo told a daily briefing. “I think that’s a mistake.” (5/6)
The Wall Street Journal:
Poll Finds Majority Of Tri-State Residents Think It’s Too Soon To Reopen
A majority of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut residents think it is too soon to reopen their states and said officials should instead prioritize curbing the spread of the coronavirus, according to new polling. More than 50% of tri-state residents said it would take a few months or longer before lifting restrictions on businesses is safe, according to a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University. Fewer than 40% of residents said the region should reopen immediately or in the next few weeks, according to the poll. (De Avila, 5/6)
The Washington Post:
Arizona Halts Partnership With Experts Predicting Coronavirus Cases Would Continue To Mount
Hours after Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, accelerated plans to reopen businesses, saying the state was “headed in the right direction,” his administration halted the work of a team of experts projecting it was on a different — and much grimmer — course. On Monday night, the eve of President Trump’s visit to the state, Ducey’s health department shut down the work of academic experts predicting the peak of the state’s coronavirus outbreak was still about two weeks away. (Stanley-Becker and Weiner, 5/6)
WHO Warns Against Rushed End To Coronavirus Lockdowns
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that countries emerging from restrictions to halt the new coronavirus must proceed “extremely carefully” or risk a rapid rise in new cases. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries needed to ensure they had adequate measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease like tracking systems and quarantine provision. (Revill and Farge, 5/6)
Detroit Free Press:
Republican Lawmakers Sue Gov. Whitmer Over Emergency Powers
The Republican leaders in the House and Senate filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, alleging her Thursday extension of the state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic was unlawful. The law in Michigan is "very clear," House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, said at a Capitol news conference. "Only the Legislature has the power to extend the state of emergency." (Egan, 5/6)
Michigan Legislature Sues Gov. Whitmer, Seeking To End Coronavirus Emergency Orders
The Republican-led Michigan Legislature is suing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, ratcheting their dispute over COVID-19 restrictions to a new level as lawmakers seek to force an end to orders that have closed down many nonessential businesses and largely confined residents to their homes. The legislators say the governor is acting illegally and overstepping her authority; Whitmer says she is protecting citizens from a global pandemic. (Chappell, 5/6)
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Nevada Coronavirus Closure Orders Violate Civil Liberties, Some Say
Across Nevada and the nation, questions are being raised about the emergency powers state governors have enacted — and the ensuing enforcement interpretations, which has led to violence, arrests and fines in some states. New York officials are investigating an officer who allegedly beat a man during an arrest for failing to social distance, according to news reports. (Kane, 5/7)
The Washington Post:
Maryland Reopens Golf Courses, Beaches To Ease Coronavirus Shutdown
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that the state would slowly begin to ease his stay-at-home order, granting permission for certain outdoor activities and allowing doctors to schedule some elective surgeries. The small step toward reopening came as state Schools Superintendent Karen B. Salmon announced that public school campuses would remain shuttered for the rest of the academic year. (Cox, Nirappil, Vozzella and Cox, 5/6)
Supreme Court Declines To Lift Pennsylvania COVID-19 Health Order
The Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a request to halt an order Pennsylvania's governor entered in March to close businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The petitioners, a conservative political action committee and several businesses, told the justices that Gov. Tom Wolf's (D) executive order "has and is continuing to cause irreparable harm." The court’s denial of the request, issued without comment, means fewer than five of the nine justices supported the petition. (Kruzel, 5/6)
Baker Aims For Some Business To Start Reopening May 18, But Coronavirus Numbers Are Still Fluctuating
If encouraging downward trends in key coronavirus indicators continue, state officials hope to allow some businesses to reopen when a shutdown order expires May 18, Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday.But for the first time in about a week, the daily statistics released by the state Department of Public Health appeared to leave little room for optimism. (Andersen, Fincuane and Reiss, 5/6)
The Washington Post:
People In The U.S. Are Slowly Going Out More Since The Coronavirus Peak. Here’s Where And Why.
If you’re still at home, you’re not alone. After a peak week of sheltering in place in early April, U.S. residents began to inch out of their homes, according to new cellphone data. But even as states begin to “open up,” more Americans appear to be staying put than sprinting out the door. (Schaul, Mayes and Berkowitz, 5/6)
Schools Reopening After Coronavirus Outbreak: What's The Risk?
Moves by countries to reopen schools that were shut to prevent the spread of coronavirus could risk a second wave of infections, some studies suggest. Most cases of Covid-19 in children are mild, but studies suggest kids may play a major role in transmitting the virus to each other and to vulnerable adults -- and that keeping schools closed for longer may help stop the spread of the coronavirus. One study conducted in China and published in the journal Science last week suggested that keeping schools closed could reduce infections and delay the epidemic. (Reynolds, 5/6)
A Few Schools Reopen, But Remote Learning Could Go On For Years In U.S.
May 7th is the date that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, declared it was safe to open up schools. The state has had fewer than 500 reported cases of coronavirus as of this week. But according to the state's Office of Public Instruction, just a few school districts, in small towns, have taken the governor up on the offer. That gap, between a state executive proclaiming schools OK to open, and the reality of tiny groups of students gathering in just a few schools, shows the logistical challenges educators and state officials around the country face in any decision to reopen. (Kamenetz, 5/7)