More than half of the nation’s governors are relaxing pandemic restrictions in their states by the end of this week while crossing their fingers that the novel coronavirus doesn’t spike, setting off another round of closures.
What We Know:
- A group of Senate Democrats unveiled a proposal Friday to pay businesses up to $90,000 for at least six months, allowing furloughed or laid-off workers to continue to receive the paychecks in their usual amounts. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans have sought unemployment benefits since the pandemic began.
- According to the Washington Post, Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, warned governors to avoid “leapfrogging” crucial milestones before reopening. “Obviously you could get away with that, but you’re making a really significant risk,” he stated.
- Armed demonstrators stormed the Michigan Capitol to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s strict stay-at-home order. The Republican-led legislature decided against extending the emergency declaration, so Whitmer did it herself.
- While millions of Americans will be able to return to stores, restaurants and movie theaters this weekend, stay-at-home restrictions are being extended in Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Arizona, and Washington. As many rural and suburban areas reopen, cities are staying firmly shut.
- The Trump administration is racing to develop a vaccine that could be fielded nationwide by January. A good sign of progress stands with the bio-pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University which have teamed up to create a coronavirus vaccine, of which we can expect to see results from human trials as early as June or July.
A recent report from the University of Minnesota suggests the coronavirus pandemic could stretch up to two more years with recurring spikes until roughly two-thirds or more of the population develops immunity. In one of three scenarios in the report, the U.S. is expected to experience a severe resurgence this fall or winter.