Despite recent protests in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin against lockdowns, the majority of Americans still believe that stay-at-home measures are helping the U.S. in the fight against COVID-19. A new survey shows that many people would want to extend the lockdowns as the disease continues to spread across the country.
The U.S. currently has more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 63,000 deaths related to the disease. More than 75 percent of citizens agreed that the government should extend lockdowns by another two weeks to contain the virus, according to the survey by Business Insider.
About 50 percent of the 1,099 respondents said they strongly support social distancing measures, while 25 percent said they would support the same measures. Only 4 percent strongly opposed the lockdowns, while 11 percent said they would be against the extension.
Insider launched the survey in late April, a few days before President Donald Trump announced the federal government may not continue social distancing guidelines in the coming months.
Government Officials vs Health Experts
Health experts have been warning government leaders in the past weeks about the impacts of reopening cities and states amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite the declining cases. Estimates showed that hundreds of thousands of people could die in the U.S. without stay-at-home measures.
However, Trump said he now hopes to resume campaign travel and out-of-state visits in coming months. Meanwhile, state leaders announced plans to end lockdowns.
“I don’t want people to get used to this,” Trump told reporters. “I see the new normal being what it was three months ago.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said he hopes to allow businesses to resume operations in the beginning of May. Officials in Georgia have already started reopening businesses, while Florida is expected to follow the path in the coming week.
However, scientists said it is too early to allow citizens to return to their normal lives. Experts from Harvard and Johns Hopkins said for the country to safely reopen, the government should test 20 million people for COVID-19 every day by July to see the areas that remain at high risk of infections.
The country currently tests between 500,000 and 600,000 people per day, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
“We have at this moment the finger on the spring,” Juan Gutierrez, a mathematical biology professor at the University of Texas in San Antonio, told NPR and CPI. “If we remove the finger, the spring jumps. So we will see a lot of cases.”