Trump's task force data show Southern counties will see explosion of COVID-19 cases: report
Greg Abbott speaks to Fox News on Feb. 1, 2015. (screen grab)

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that new data under analysis by the White House coronavirus task force show several Southern counties that are no longer under stay-at-home orders are at risk for an explosion of new COVID-19 cases.


"The study, which was put together by PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is part of a data set being reviewed by top coronavirus task force officials and people working with the team, The Daily Beast reported earlier this month," wrote national security reporter Erin Blanco. "A previous model by the PolicyLab predicted that if officials moved too quickly and too aggressively to reopen in mid-May, individual counties could witness hundreds, if not a thousand-plus, more coronavirus cases reported each day by August 1."

"The new model shows that in southern counties, particularly in Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Virginia, the risk for resurgence is high over the next four weeks," continued the report. "These states have moved to reopen, at least partially, since the team published its last model in April."

"The data set now takes into consideration current levels of social distancing rather than projections about what would happen when local communities reopened," said the report. "It also includes data for more than 200 additional counties across the country. The findings indicate that the risk for large second waves of outbreaks remains low if communities continue to implement cautious, incremental plans to reopening that limit crowding and travel to non-essential businesses. Doctors working on the study said that without vigilance in masking, hygiene, and disinfection, certain southern counties will remain high risk."

Two large counties particularly at risk include Miami-Dade county in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis has reopened gyms, salons, and theme parks and is moving to open retail stores, and Dallas County in Texas, where stay-at-home orders have been similarly relaxed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

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