WASHINGTON (WJW) — More than 150 health experts and medical professionals are urging leaders to shut down the United States again as many states see spikes in coronavirus cases. (Watch the video above for the more information on states experiencing COVID-19 surges.)
In an open letter posted on the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s website, healthcare experts and professionals ask government leaders to consider closing and restarting the economy once again.
The writers allege that leaders reopened the economy too quickly after the shutdown in March. They argue that officials didn’t use the time while most of the US was quarantining to set medical professionals up to defeat the virus.
The letter continues by saying, “the best thing for the nation is not to reopen as quickly as possible, it’s to save as many lives as possible. And reopening before suppressing the virus isn’t going to help the economy.”
The doctors and healthcare workers who wrote the letter allege that non-essential businesses should close again and that Americans should stay home to limit exposure to themselves and others.
They also argue that leaders need to invest more in testing, contact tracing and personal protective equipment. The letter reads in part:
Non-essential businesses should be closed. Restaurant service should be limited to take-out. People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air. Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors, where we interact with others.
We need that protocol in place until case numbers recede to a level at which we have the capacity to effectively test and trace. Then, and only then, we can try a little more opening, one small step at a time.
You should bar non-essential interstate travel. When people travel freely between states, the good numbers in one state can go bad quickly.
If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.
Click here to read the letter in its entirety.
The Public Interest Research Group tweeted Saturday that more than 650 healthcare professionals are now calling for action.
Health experts and workers (MD, PhD, RN etc.) are encouraged to join the over 150 people who have signed the letter. You can sign the letter, here.
Those who do not work in the healthcare field are encouraged to sign a petition asking lawmakers to shut down again.
Meanwhile, NPR reports that the coronavirus continues to surge in several US states including Florida, Louisiana and California, which reported its highest number of single-day deaths on Thursday. Similarly, Montana reported its highest daily number of cases on Saturday with 224 new cases. Mississippi, Arizona, Nevada and Alabama also saw an uptick in cases.