Newsom’s remarks Tuesday come as the death toll from the coronavirus in the United States passed 25,000 — according to Johns Hopkins University — and as governors across the county discuss the options for reopening businesses and schools in their states.
The Trump administration has social distancing guidelines in effect through the end of the month. While President Donald Trump has leaned into his desire to reopen the nation’s economy by May 1, the nation’s governors and mayors who hold the power to enforce closures seem to disagree.
California officials during this phase of the pandemic are looking toward means of Covid-19 suppression, herd immunity and, ultimately, a vaccine, but it will be “perhaps the most difficult and challenging phase of all,” Newsom said.
The governor said that was saying a lot because the phase that has brought 734 deaths and new cases was very challenging.
Herd immunity is when so many people in the community have had the virus and become immune that it largely prevents further spread.
What needs to happen for order to be lifted
Newsom emphasized that reopening schools is the priority.
“We need to get our kids back to school. I need to get my kids back to school,” he said with a chuckle.
The governor said he doesn’t envision any mass gatherings at sporting events or concerts until there is a vaccine and sufficient herd immunity.
The six things that need to happen before a stay-at-home order is lifted involve the state’s ability to: Expand testing and track the infected, protect vulnerable people, meet the needs of medical caregivers during the most trying times, to have drugs for treatment, to have businesses and schools comply with social distancing, and to be able to reinstate a stay at home order, if need be.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in particular said he’d fight in court any federal order to reopen his state’s economy if he thought it was premature and endangered New Yorkers’ health.
US is ‘not there yet’ to reopen, Fauci says
The US doesn’t have enough capacity to test for and trace Covid-19 cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the AP.
“We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet,” said Fauci.
The process of reopening would likely happen on a “rolling” basis and not simultaneously across the country.
“I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back, there will be infections. It’s how you deal with the infections that’s going to count,” Fauci told the AP, adding that we need ways to get people “out of circulation if they get infected, because once you start getting clusters, then you’re really in trouble.”
After an hour, dpolice officers asked the group to disperse, saying too many people were there, too close together. Most left; one person was taken away in handcuffs after refusing to leave, WRAL reported.
Cuomo still wants federal help, and says he wants no fight with President
The potential clash between governors and the White House reflect one of the challenges the country will face in adapting to the pandemic.
“I got it all done for him and everyone else, and now he seems to want independence! That won’t happen,” Trump tweeted.
Data continue to show New York, the state with the most reported coronavirus cases, is near its apex, Cuomo said at a later news conference.
Daily deaths were up Monday — 778, against 671 the day before. But a three-day average in the net change of hospitalizations was down, he said.
Cuomo told reporters in Albany that ultimately he wanted no fight with the President — and that he wanted the federal government’s help doing things states are struggling to do.
The federal government should be in charge of purchasing and distributing, he said.
“I want to get out of the … competition business for … vital testing,” Cuomo said.
A new hydroxychloroquine trial
Patients who have been exposed to the virus will receive either hydroxychloroquine or a placebo, Sanford Health’s chief medical officer Allison Suttle said.
“We’re going on offense to help every single person deal with this virus and be willing to fight it and get better and go home to their families,” the governor said.
The news comes as researchers in New York are expected to announce next week preliminary results of a study on hydroxychloroquine used on patients in that state — offering one of the first scientific hints as to whether the drugs are helpful against coronavirus.
CNN’s Michael Nedelman, Devan Cole, Charles Riley, Arman Azad, Chandler Thornton, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Amir Vera contributed to this report.