‘Shut it down, start over, do it right’ - Health experts sign open letter calling for second COVID-19 lockdown

A waiter wearing a mask serves customers wine at Eataly's outdoor seating near Flatiron as the city enters Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on July 23, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosen

More than 150 health professionals from across the nation have signed an open letter to the nation’s decision-makers, asking that they “hit the reset button” on the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter blames the push to reopen the economy on the recent rise in coronavirus cases and calls for all non-essential businesses to be closed.

“More than 117,000 Americans had died of COVID-19 by mid-June. If our response had been as effective as Germany’s, estimates show that we would have had only 36,000 COVID-19 deaths in that period in the United States. If our response had been as effective as South Korea, Australia, or Singapore’s, fewer than 2,000 Americans would have died. We could have prevented 99% of those COVID-19 deaths. But we didn’t,” the letter says. 

In order to safely reopen cities and towns in the U.S., the letter recommends that the nation will need to vastly increase its testing capacity, along with adding hundreds of thousands of contact tracers and enough PPE to keep all essential workers safe.

The letter also calls for a ban on non-essential interstate travel.

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“Many of the actions of our government thus far have fallen short of what the moment demands. Mr. Trump, federal administration, honorable governors: we remind you that history has its eyes on you,” it concludes.

According to Johns Hopkins University, over 4,000,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States, and over 146,000 have died. 


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