As more states ease restrictions, experts urge continued caution
WASHINGTON — A growing number of governors are lifting the restrictions they imposed over the last year to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, earning praise from business groups and some weary citizens but raising alarm among federal health officials who fear a resurgence of the virus.
Experts say the significant progress the U.S. has made in recent months in reducing case numbers and vaccinating the population could be endangered if states repeat the mistakes they made last summer by opening up too quickly. Still, Republican and Democratic governors maintain they are trying to balance public health and economic concerns as the nation’s prognosis improves.
The decisions drew immediate backlash from Democrats and public health experts, with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, calling the rolling back of restrictions “inexplicable” and President Joe Biden slamming the governors for “Neanderthal thinking.” Even some Republicans suggested the states were moving too far, too fast.