Half of US states relax restrictions on unemployment rise
The White House allowed its governing directives to open the economy to expire on Thursday as half of the states developed their own strategies to ease restrictions on restaurants, retailers and other businesses that were forced to close due to the coronavirus epidemic..
The tremendous pressure that states are undergoing to reopen despite the lack of large-scale infection testing and the lack of other precautions that health experts are insisting on was reflected in new Labor Department figures that estimated some 30 million people since March 21 of Americans applied for unemployment benefits.
More than 18.4% of the working-age US population is unemployed, not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Physical separation of people – the closure of schools, businesses and other public gatherings – remains the main weapon against the highly contagious respiratory virus, for which there is currently no vaccine or cure..
But with economic burdens reaching historic proportions, campaigning has intensified to loosen self-isolation measures and lift some mandatory workplace restrictive measures..
For the second time in two weeks, hundreds of protesters, including members of armed militias, gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, demanding that the governor’s orders be overturned. Gretchen Whitmer about staying at home.
The latest protest was prompted by a Democrat governor’s plea, which was ignored by Republican lawmakers, to expand the emergency powers she referred to, in a state in which both the virus and shutdown were hit to fight it..
A few weeks after the president insisted that he has full authority to decide when and how to restart the country’s economy, Donald Trump largely empowered each governor to make decisions on an individual basis.
Although the White House refused to renew its April 16 directive to restart operations, which recommended an economic restart in phases only after strict precautions were imposed, medical experts said these conditions remained unsatisfactory and that early action could lead to a resumption of the outbreak..
They insisted that safely breaking social distancing rules would require a significant increase in virus testing and systems for tracking close social contacts of infected people so that they too can be tested and quarantined..
In a breakthrough announced Wednesday that could become a national model, Los Angeles County became the first major metropolitan area in the United States to offer free coronavirus tests for everyone..
Tests funded in part by a Rockefeller Foundation grant through a charitable organization co-founded by the actor Sean Penn, must be made available by appointment to everyone in the area with a population of about 10 million.
Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo said his state would hire thousands of workers to do the labor-intensive job of tracing contacts with people who have tested positive for the virus.
As of Thursday, the number of known infections nationwide has reached more than 1 million, including about 63,000 deaths, more than the number of deaths of the US military in all the years of US involvement in the Vietnam War..
About two dozen states, mostly in the south and midwest, have moved to ease self-isolation restrictions, following the example of Georgia, which announced the lifting of restrictions late last week. Texas and Florida, including this week, charted plans to soften isolation measures for the future.
However, no companies are required to reopen, and it is unclear how many business owners and their employees will return to work and how many repeat customers will dare to return to stores and restaurants..
Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in many parts of the country, although peaks appear to be in New York State, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, and elsewhere..
Pennsylvania, Kansas, Wisconsin, Virginia, Arizona, Minnesota, and Nebraska all reported a record number of new cases on Thursday, although closer testing may explain some of these cases, revealing infections that are already there but have not been detected.
Several states, including New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Mexico, have posted new highs in their daily death toll reports..
Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, who plans to open state parks and golf courses on Saturday, visited the White House on Thursday. He then said that the federal government gave his state 550,000 coronavirus testing kits, as well as 750,000 sampling kits, which became «huge step» towards his goal of doubling testing opportunities in New Jersey by the end of May.
Governor of California Gavin Newsom announced the closure of beaches and parks in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, after crowds flooded the popular coastline over the weekend.
Newsom, a Democrat, said California will reopen retail, manufacturing and other «jobs with less risk», as testing and contact tracing will improve.
As part of one of the first major sports discoveries in the United States, NASCAR announced that its auto racing competition will kick off on the tracks of North and South Carolina in mid to late May..
Some segments of the US commercial workforce continuing to work amid the coronavirus pandemic have begun to protest what they perceive as deteriorating working conditions..
Leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and Target, as well as Instacart and FedEx, are planning strikes on Friday to protest shortages of protective equipment and other safeguards, given that their services are counted, according to social media reports. vital.
Donald Trump declares a state of emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in the country