There must come a point at which states begin to re-open; the question is when, to what extent, and how to implement effective public safety measures while reviving the economy.
Through the first two weeks of May, states have taken different approaches; some — including New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut — have yet to announce plans to re-open. Others, like Georgia, Florida and Texas, have led the country in easing restrictions.
Many of these states have faced complaints that they are re-opening too early. Luckily for us, there’s an easy way to decide: the criteria set forth by President Trump on April 16, which can help us judge the moves by governors across the country. However partisan they may be, the guidelines provide a blueprint for measuring success and when to re-open.
Some of the criteria for re-opening are as follows:
As of May 7, 30 states — including Rhode Island — had begun to re-open or planned to do so soon, according to The New York Times. At the same time, 18 of those states — including New Hampshire and Maine — have had an increase in average daily cases over the past two weeks. Nine states have a higher proportion of positive tests than 14 days ago, and in two of those states, testing has decreased.
By these numbers — and the very criteria that the Trump administration is using to measure when to re-open — many states are taking the next step prematurely. In those cases, the governors are threatening the safety of their citizens, and irresponsibly ignoring advice that many Democrats are criticizing as too lenient.
But Rhode Island and Governor Gina Raimondo are a different story. While the state is one of the 30 with plans to re-open in the immediate future, Rhode Island’s daily average cases over the last two weeks has dramatically dropped. Additionally, the numbers show a decrease in the share of positive test results, all with increased testing.
These numbers show definitively that Governor Raimondo isn’t re-opening the state prematurely; in fact, based off of the guidelines from the White House, Rhode Island should be seen as a success story primed for a relaunched economy.
Whether Raimondo has consulted with these numbers and guidelines in her decision to re-open the state, or re-opening at this point was inevitable regardless of the statistics, credit is due to the governor for wisely and appropriately handling the approach to re-opening.
While many states are putting the economy ahead of individual livelihood and human carnage, Raimondo is showing the traits of a responsible leader by listening to the numbers and acting with reason in mind.
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