Mississippi governor says he changed his mind on reopening after increase in coronavirus cases

Dr. Irwin Redlener speaks during Children's Health Fund Annual Benefit 2019 in New York City June 05, 2019. Noam Galai / Getty Images

Policymakers who ease the restrictions for businesses and residents are risking the lives of residents, disaster experts said Friday.

"You're making a big mistake. It's going to cost lives," Dr. Irwin Redlener, pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.


Redlener and Joseph Fair, a pandemic policy senior at Texas A&M University, warned in a report that no state or city should begin to reduce restrictions before coronavirus infections have been steadily declining for 10 days to two weeks, and not until enough tests are available to assess how many are really infected. So far, 31 states have announced plans or have begun to reduce restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Redlener said he sent the report on Friday to every governor, senator and congressman.

"We clearly understand the need to reopen US businesses. People need work, and families need revenue and businesses need to survive. And people need to get out of isolation and resume normal activities in social interactions, attend events and get our kids back to the school, ”Redlener wrote in a letter accompanying the report.

“But if we don't do this properly, more people will die. Is there a burden and responsibility that US governors want to take on? "he added.

The testing is nowhere near where it should be, the report says.

"We know we are very far from doing enough diagnostic tests every week in the United States," Redlener and Fair write in the report.


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