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DC mayor says local peak in coronavirus cases likely in June

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Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) projected Sunday that the city’s coronavirus peak will likely come in June.

“We expect that that could happen in Washington, D.C. in June,” Bowser told Fox’s Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” saying  “our residents are doing everything that we ask so that we can push down the number of peak cases and push out when that surge would happen in D.C.”

Asked why she projected the surge would occur so late relative to areas like New York, Bowser told Wallace she believed citywide interventions in early March such as the closure of large public venues, bars and dine-in restaurants “pushed back when the peak might occur.”

{mosads}As for the pandemic’s economic damage, Bowser told Wallace “we don’t think we’re any different except we went into this pandemic in a very strong position,” citing its particular damage to the city’s vital hospitality and tourism industries.

Asked what guideposts the city would look to when making decisions on reopening, Bowser said city officials will look for “sustained periods of decreasing infection, sustained periods of decreasing hospitalizations.”

Despite President Trump’s optimistic projections of reopening in the near future, Bowser said “we’re going to follow what the data on the ground tells us,” adding “the president hasn’t issued any stay at home orders for any jurisdictions in the United States of America.”

Bowser also addressed racial disparities in the spread of the virus, which has killed and hospitalized African Americans out of proportion to their percentage of the population, saying that while African Americans are at higher risk for some chronic health conditions that exacerbate the effects of the virus, social conditions can also worsen matters, pointing to the increased risk of asthma due to substandard housing conditions.

“While this is not new during the COVID-19 response, it certainly calls for national and local actions that are going to change the trajectory,” she said. 

Tags African-American women in politics Bowser Chris Wallace Coronavirus Donald Trump
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