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"Myth about reopening restoring economy is killing people": U.S. columnist

(Xinhua)    13:01, July 15, 2020

WASHINGTON, July 14 (Xinhua) -- There is no tradeoff between beating the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring the economy, and "the myth about reopening restoring the economy is killing people," a U.S. columnist has said.

The United States is "breaking records every day" in the number of COVID-19 infections "while many other developed countries gradually get back to normal," Frida Ghitis wrote in a recent opinion piece published by CNN, stressing the urgent need to fight the virus in the country.

"Fighting the pandemic is an indispensable step in returning to growth. There is no tradeoff," she wrote. "We all want the economy to recover, but allowing the coronavirus to surge is not the way."

Citing data from the New York Times, Ghitis said states that "reopened early and aggressively ... are becoming the new epicenters," such as Florida, which reported a record high of 15,299 new cases on Sunday.

"Reopening creates a flicker of economic activity, a fleeting illusion of recovery, followed by an explosion of disease and death, which demands further shutdowns," the columnist said.

"If the entire country had continued a strict lockdown beyond a few weeks in the spring," she said, "tens of thousands of lives could have been saved."

The author noted that the U.S. administration is among those who "propagate the myth," saying the belief "is weaponized and turbocharged by the electoral calendar."

The administration also went against the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding schools, as the agency's epidemiologists said that schools and universities pose the "highest risk" for the spread of the virus, she added.

"For individuals and public officials, it is crucial to understand that the only way to return to normal and to protect jobs and incomes, is to save lives," the article concluded. "There is no tradeoff."

The U.S. caseload surpassed 3.4 million on Tuesday, reaching 3,406,945 as of 4:38 p.m. local time (2038 GMT), according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, the national death toll rose to 136,244.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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