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"States Give in to Lure of Reopening, Defying Health Warnings"

Bloomberg interviewed Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of epidemiology and community health sciences, about the potential risks of the decisions by state governors to remove protective measures designed to fight the pandemic

Thursday, March 4, 2021

California Governor Gavin Newsom, under threat of recall, is pushing for young students’ return to classrooms. Nevada, with 11 straight months of declining gambling revenue, wants to scrap most virus-related restrictions. Alabama, against one of the lowest Covid-19 vaccination rates among U.S. states, is saying goodbye to masks next month.

Governors loosening coronavirus restrictions -- or, like Texas and Mississippi, lifting them entirely -- are counting on Johnson & Johnson’s new vaccine to usher in a return to prepandemic life. Health experts say their surrender to tantalizing normality, amid a death toll of 520,000 and climbing, is courting a potential fourth U.S. surge.

Coast to coast, deaths have slowed and cases have fallen, but the latter figure has plateaued. By month-end, the supercontagious U.K. variant of Covid-19 will dominate American cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in a sobering example of what can happen when economies hurriedly reopen, Hungary and Italy this week returned to or tightened partial lockdowns after infections jumped.