Nearly 3 in 4 Americans say it’s still too risky to return to ‘normal’ pre-coronavirus conditions according to new poll – as southern governors move to open gyms, restaurants and bowling alleys as soon as FRIDAY
- New polling shows steep partisan divides over stay-home orders
- 72 per cent of Americans said returning to normal is a moderate/large risk
- Only 21 per cent of Republicans think going back to normal is a ‘large’ risk, compared to 52 per cent of Democrats
- Georgia’s Republican governor is reopening nail salons, bowling alleys and gyms
- Movie theaters and restaurants open Monday
- White House guidelines said states should experience 14 days of diminished infection before reopening
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
A substantial majority of Americans believes it is too soon to get back to ‘normal’ pre-coronavirus life – as citizens of Georgia and South Carolina prepare to hit the gym or the beach under relaxed social distancing orders.
A total of 72 per cent of Americans believe returning back to normal is a moderate or large risk, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll, the latest to reveal stark partisan divides over how to deal with the coronavirus.
Underneath that top-line number are deep differences. A majority of 52 per cent of Democrats think going back to people’s normal lives is a ‘large’ risk, according to the survey. But among Republicans, the number is just 21 per cent.
Gov. Brian Kemp says Georgia is on track to meet the criteria to begin easing social distancing and reopening Georgia’s economy as health officials continue battling the spread of COVID-19. Seventy-two per cent of Americans said returning to normal is a moderate/large risk
The more risk-tolerant view is the one prevailing in the Georgia governor’s office, where new Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday ordered a relaxation of state stay-home orders.
Georgia gyms, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys can open as soon as Friday under Kemp’s latest orders. Hair salons and massage therapy, as long as social distancing guidelines are practiced.
By Monday, movie theaters and restaurants will be allowed to open.
South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster is allowing local authorities to make decisions on when to open the state’s beaches, pulling back overriding state orders. Department stores and some other retail businesses may open as soon as Tuesday.
President Trump’s guidelines leave it up to governors to reopen – although they say a state should have 14 days of declining infections
Republican governors in Florida and Tennessee are also taking steps to peel back their stay-home orders.
Texas became the first state to commit to partially reopening from April 20, starting with public parks and retailers on a ‘to-go’ basis.
The move comes as President Trump urged a national reopening, then came out with new guidelines that acknowledge governors have the power to issue orders.
Said Kemp: ”I think this is the right approach at the right time. We’re not just throwing the keys back to these business owners. We’re talking about people (who had) the government shut down their business.’ Georgia was among the last states to impose stay-home orders.
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was among those questioning Kemp’s order. ‘I’ve searched my head and my heart on this. I really am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on,’ she told CNN Tuesday.
Trump has also made comments defending groups of protesters who have blasted stay-home orders imposed by state capitols, and sent out tweets calling to ‘LIBERATE’ three Democratic-run states where protests were being held.
White House guidelines by the coronavirus task force issued last week call for coronavirus and flu-like cases to be on a ‘downward trajectory’ for a 14-day period before states should move to a ‘Phase One’ reopening.
Public health officials have warned that without adequate testing in place to locate infected people, states that reopen could experience a second wave of infection.
Dr Margaret Hamburg said on Tuesday she was worried about some states easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions because they do not yet meet President Trump’s minimum criteria
“I’m worried that we don’t know enough about how the virus has penetrated their communities and their states. We don’t know about the possibility for explosive spread of the virus as people go back into these social gathering settings,’ former FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told NBC’s ‘Today’ show regarding the push by southern states to reopen.
‘I hope they will move forward slowly. Certainly they need to have in place adequate testing,’ she said.
‘Some of these places are not even meeting the minimum threshold criteria that was put out in the Trump White House coronavirus task force guidance,’ Hamburg said.