Trump pushes more states to reopen even though none meet White House's criteria

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Zero states meet the health criteria necessary to reopen laid out by Trump's own officials.

Donald Trump said Monday that more states need to reopen their economies, despite none of them meeting the criteria set forth by the White House to do so safely.

"I really do believe a lot of the governors should be opening up states that they're not opening," Trump said during a visit to a North Carolina bioprocess innovation center. "We'll see what happens with them."

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In the spring of this year, the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a set of criteria states should meet before lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions.

According to ProPublica, those criteria are based on five metrics:

  • A decrease in the number of positive tests per 100,000 people, using a seven-day average;
  • A decrease in the percentage of positive tests, again using a seven-day average;
  • 100 tests administered per 100,000 people per day, using a seven-day average;
  • At least 30% bed availability in hospital ICUs; and
  • A decrease in the percentage of hospital visits for flu-like symptoms.

As of Monday, no state had successfully met all five criteria, per ProPublica data. A handful of states met four of the five benchmarks.

Trump's comments come as the states across the country see a surge in coronavirus cases. Some of the biggest hotspots include Sun Belt states such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona which opened up hastily earlier this year against expert advice.

"The virus doesn't care how badly we want things to return to normal," Saskia Popescu, a Phoenix-area epidemiologist, wrote in a Washington Post column on July 16. "If we go too fast, it will storm back everywhere."

Nationwide, more than 4.2 million have confirmed coronavirus cases, and at least 147,003 people have died.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.