Story at a glance
- Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said the pace of reopening played a role in how quickly case counts began spiking in the state.
- Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D) said her state was one of the last to implement a stay-at-home order and one of the first to reopen.
- Harris County, Texas, Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) said Sunday the state needs to return to a stay-at-home order and fundamentally rethink its strategy in dealing with the outbreak.
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to soar in the United States, officials in some of the states currently dealing with the worst outbreaks say they reopened too early.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have been surging in recent weeks in Arizona, Texas, California and Florida, roughly about two months since many states started the reopening process. Arizona on Sunday reported its highest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations to date, while Texas and Florida continue to report record-breaking numbers of new cases.
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“It’s clear that the growth is exponential at this point,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “There’s no doubt…that when we reopened, people started socializing as if the virus didn’t exist.”
Suarez said before the stay-at-home order was put in place Miami was experiencing 35 daily new cases, which dropped to 14 new cases after the order was put in place. He said Miami last week saw 91 new coronavirus cases per day.
In Arizona, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D) said the pace of the state’s reopening also indicated to some residents the pandemic was over, resulting in a spike of new cases.
“We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge, and we reemerged at zero to 60,” Gallego told ABC’s “This Week.”
“We had crowded nightclubs handing out free champagne, no masks. Our 20- to -44-year-olds, which is my own demographic, really led the explosion, and we’ve seen such growth in that area. We’re seeing a lot of people go to large family gatherings and infect their family members.”
Harris County, Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo (D) said Sunday the state needs to return to a stay-at-home order and fundamentally rethink its strategy in dealing with the outbreak.
“Frankly, if we had stayed shut for longer, if we’d open more slowly, we would probably be at a more sustainable phase in our economy. We wouldn’t be shuttering from open to close,” she told ABC’s “This Week“ Sunday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week took a step back in reopening, ordering all bars to close. He also implemented a statewide face mask requirement.
Late last month, Abott acknowledged he allowed bars in the state to reopen too soon.
“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the re-opening of bars,” the governor told KVIA.
The U.S. continues to lead the rest of the world in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths. Nearly 2.9 million cases have been confirmed with more than 130,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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