States’ efforts to revive their economies have begun on Wednesday, with Vice President Pence traveling to Florida and President Trump hosting the governors of Arkansas and Kansas at the White House. All 50 states are now easing coronavirus-related restrictions, even though many of them do not meet federal benchmarks.
What We Know:
- The number of confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide approached 5 million, with at least 1.5 million in the United States.
- Trump ramped up his rhetoric against China, claiming on Twitter that the nation’s “incompetence” was responsible for “this mass Worldwide killing!” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also denounced China as a “brutal authoritarian regime” and described its relationship with the director of the World Health Organization as “troubling”.
- Other developments around the country include an incident in a church in Houston and another in Georgia, now closing for a second time after faith leaders and congregants tested positive for the virus shortly after reopening.
- According to Seung Min Kim of the Washington Post, “Trump on Tuesday privately expressed opposition to extending a weekly $600 boost in unemployment insurance for laid-off workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic”. It’s unclear whether Trump simply wants to cap or lower payments, or let the federal UI enhancement lapse altogether.
- Elsewhere in the world, a worker at a mink farm in the Netherlands may have contracted COVID-19 from an animal there, the country’s agricultural minister said. If this is in fact confirmed, it would mark the first recorded incident of animal-to-human transmission.
- Less than a month after relaxing restrictions, several Gulf Arab countries are reimposing strict restrictions after seeing sharp spikes in coronavirus cases, quadrupling in Saudi Arabia and increasing by nearly sevenfold in Kuwait.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laid out a detailed, delayed road map for reopening states. The 60-page guidance document was posted on the CDC website over the weekend without fanfare after weeks of delay and an internal debate over whether the guidelines were too restrictive.