May 6, 2020
As May begins the nation has started to discuss the process of reopening. By May 4, 24 states have partially reopened their economies with businesses and some public amenities, along with President Trump’s encouragement.“I really believe that you can go to parks, you can go to beaches . . . [if] you stay away a certain amount,” he said in a statement to the Washington Post. Trump has also released guidelines regarding “Opening Up America Again” from the whitehouse and the CDC giving “a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts.”
However, this opening came at the same time as the nation’s highest death toll over 24 hours due to the coronavirus in the first days of states opening, according to a report from the World Health Organization released May 1. This report stated that there had been 2,909 deaths on May 1. This broke the previous record-breaking number of 2,471 deaths on April 3. These deaths come with some public health experts cautioning against opening up state lockdowns prematurely, with Columbia University epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman stating, “It’s not a matter of whether infections will increase, but by how much.”
Essential workers have expressed concern about how they are being treated during this pandemic. On May 1, workers from stores including Amazon and Target staged a May Day protest calling for better pay and treatment. As well as nurses from over 130 hospitals who protested to their right to demand proper protective equipment. Amazon responded in a statement reading, “While we respect people’s right to express themselves, we object to the irresponsible actions of labor groups in spreading misinformation and making false claims about Amazon during this unprecedented health and economic crisis. We have gone to extreme measures to understand and address this pandemic.” Also on May 1 came a rent strike with protesters demanding state leaders to freeze rents during the crisis, and refusing to pay their rent to bring light to those who can’t. This protest came while 30.3 million people have claimed first-time unemployment which makes up 18.6 percent of the labor force. The current number of cases in the US currently is 1,122,486 with a death toll of 65,735 as of May 3.