U.S. Health experts are calling for a second coronavirus shutdown in the U.S. and say if we don’t, we will lose over 200,000 lives by November 1st. A letter, published on United States Public Interest Research Group’s (U.S.PIRG) website, is calling for immediate shutdown to all non-essential businesses in the U.S.
“If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.” The letter written by over 150 Health Experts across the U.S.
“Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities.” The letter says. Experts signing the letter range from medical doctors and social workers to clinical psychologists from institutions like the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Northwestern University, NorthShore University Health System, University of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work, and Johns Hopkins University.
“Non-essential businesses should be closed. Restaurant service should be limited to take-out. People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air. Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors, where we interact with others.” the U.S.PIRG letter reads.
The letter also calls for a ban on travel between states. “You should bar non-essential interstate travel. When people travel freely between states, the good numbers in one state can go bad quickly.” U.S.PIRG statement says.
The group’s letter is also critical of the March shutdown, saying the time was not used ‘to defeat the virus’, and claims had proper measures been put in place, the death toll to date would be less than a third of what it now is.
“In March, people went home and stayed there for weeks, to keep themselves and their neighbors safe. You didn’t use the time to set us up to defeat the virus. And then you started to reopen anyway, and too quickly. 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 group says in order to reopen safely, daily testing and contact tracing needs to be dramatically increased with expanded PPE efforts.