A public health expert begged President Donald Trump not to reopen the economy too soon, and then explained how the coronavirus lockdowns can safely end.
Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that prematurely ending stay-at-home orders — as Trump has signaled he wants to do — would risk new infections, endanger more lives and waste all the efforts Americans have taken so far.
“We cannot open up our economy without adequate testing,” Jha said. “Let’s think about what would happen if we did. Let’s say May 1 we opened the doors, everybody is back to work. It’d be great for a few weeks. For a few weeks, we wouldn’t notice it at all. Then you’d see massive flare-ups of cases across the country. All the hard work that Americans are doing will have been wasted. We will have to shut down again, and we will shut down for much longer.”
“To quote Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, we don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline,” he added. “Wait until the viral levels are really low in our country. Let’s have a robust testing system, then let’s open up slowly. I think we can stay open, which is what Americans want. We do not want to have to shut down again.”