The mayors of several large cities in the United States are considering or require a reconfinement to stem the tide of new cases of COVID-19, but of political disagreements between different jurisdictions prevent a unified response and coherent.
While reconfinements have been ordained in recent days in Melbourne, Australia, the province of Lleida in Spain, Manila, Philippines, or Tangier in Morocco, such decisions are still rare in the most affected country of the world, where a resurgence has been taking place since June.
Officials of the agglomeration the largest city in Texas, Houston, which has about as many inhabitants as Melbourne (4.7 million inhabitants), have called for a new containment after the detection of 1600 new cases in 24 hours, that is seven times higher than the level that had pushed Melbourne to reconfiner.
“If I were the governor, I would stop the things, I close my all for two weeks in order to remove the effect of this virus,” said this weekend the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner.
But the governor of Texas, republican Gregg Abbott, has not yielded to the pressure, at least not yet.
“This was our last best chance to slow the epidemic of COVID-19 “, said the governor at a local tv about his recent decision to make the mask mandatory in public places, a measure to which he had long resisted. “The next step will be the confinement “, he warned.
The Texas had started to reopen among the first in the United States, on the 1st of may. The bars had reopened on 22 may, but the governor had to close a month after that, and he has made compulsory the wearing of the mask on July 3.
In Florida, another State issue, more than 15, 000 new cases were reported on Sunday, a record, and the number of deaths has also begun to increase.
The chief executive of the State, the republican Ron DeSantis, has so far closed the bars, but refused to make compulsory the wearing of the mask or re-raise sub-throughout Florida, by handing over to the officials of cities and counties.
In Miami, the number of patients COVID-19 in intensive care is seven times higher than it was in march and April, according to the mayor.
“It is out of control,” said the mayor, Francis Suarez, on CNN, adding that the hospitals were not, however, yet overwhelmed.
In regards to a reconfinement, “we have to think of it,” he said, leaving for the day when the hospital will tell him they can no longer cope.
In the Miami-Dade county (2.7 million inhabitants), the third of the tests was positive last week, according to its leader, a republican, who has closed sports halls and restaurants inside.
The disputes between the multiple levels of responsibility, in a country highly decentralized, are legion. In California, the order of mask required had faced the refusal of some sheriffs to control the application.
In Atlanta, Georgia, another State in the south where the epidemic continues to soar, the reverse is true: the mayor has ordered the wearing of the mask, but the governor, a republican, has argued that this order ” was just a deposit — both non-binding and legally unenforceable “.
“As clearly stated in the executive order of the governor, any local action may be more or less restrictive “, said the governor, Brian Kemp, accusing the mayor of not to apply itself to the directives of the State.
At least, replied the mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, which has itself been contaminated, his order applies to municipal buildings and therefore to the Atlanta international airport.
“It is obvious that our State is not based on the scientific evidence “, has criticized this woman, also a potential candidate to become colistière of Joe Biden, a rival democrat Donald Trump in the presidential election.
At the federal level, the strategy of the administration of Donald Trump is nothing to make it mandatory, but to encourage the screening, wearing a mask, the bars closed.
“It is necessary that 90 % of people wear masks in public in the homes of the epidemic,” said Brett Giroir, the department of Health, on Sunday. “Otherwise, we will never take control of the virus “.