UPDATED 3:27 PM PT — Wednesday, April 22, 2020
The governors of six southern states have teamed up to reopen their economies.
“It’s obviously prudent to start thinking about and planning for people getting back to work, getting society functioning in a more healthy way,” said Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).
Flattening the curve was necessary to prevent our hospital system from being overwhelmed. FL has dramatically increased its hospital bed and ICU bed capacity since the start of the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/5YDOpDEpcw
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 21, 2020
The newly formed coalition includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.
“We are growing more and more confident that we have flattened the curve to the point where victory is within reach,” stated Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.).
In Mississippi, we innovate, adapt, and take care of our own. We have tremendous federal partners, and we are grateful for their support. But we aren’t waiting around for someone else to come and rescue us.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) April 21, 2020
After the governors held a meeting, they stated they share the same ideas and want to reopen their economies in a responsible safe way. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has said he will not extend his state’s “safer at home” order, allowing a majority of businesses to reopen on May 1st.
“For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but economic shutdown cannot,” said Lee.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) April 22, 2020
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced phase one of his state’s reopening plan, which will permit businesses like gyms, hair and nail salons, and bowling alleys to reopen their doors this Friday.
Due to favorable data & more testing, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians, their respective schools & massage therapists can reopen Friday, April 24 with Minimum Basic Operations. #gapol
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 20, 2020
This came after President Trump announced plans for opening America again.
“20 states, representing 40 percent of the population, have announced they are making plans and preparations to safely restart their economies in the near future,” stated the president.
Thousands of people in multiple states have protested stay-at-home orders and voiced their support for getting people back to work.
“We have to open up the economy again, the coronavirus can be handled,” stated one protester.
Protest erupts in Raleigh N.C. as residents assemble to object to stay-at-home order pic.twitter.com/fDuI9kOyLI
— Lola Netty (@TXTrumpette89) April 15, 2020
Others have raised concerns over opening their economies too soon.
“My biggest concern right now is that we will see an even worse scenario than what we’ve already had,” explained Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms. “I think a lot of the success we’ve seen in the city and, quite frankly, throughout the state is because we were very aggressive in shutting things down.”
The governors have decided to reopen given favorable data and enhanced testing, but will keep some health measures in place. They have committed to constantly monitor the situation and provide adequate support.