One after another, US states are lifting restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, building up the ongoing mass vaccination campaign, and pollution curves have been falling in recent weeks.
• read more: Govt-19: Texas lifts mask obligation and reopens economy to 100%
The most precautionary measures are to compensate the president and health officials for calling for irresponsibility.
Texas announced Tuesday that it will wear the mandatory mask and reopen all businesses as of next week. This Wednesday Mississippi made a similar choice: “It’s time!” Governor Tate Reeves tweeted.
Joe Biden told them it was “a big mistake.” “The last thing we need is some prehistoric reason that everything is fine now, ‘take off your masks’, ‘forget it,’ he said from the White House.
“This is not the time to remove all restrictions,” said Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s leading federal public health agency.
“Fatigue wins,” he lamented, calling on Americans to continue to wear the mask and respect physical distance, “whether it is mandatory or not.”
These calls for continued efforts remain unheard of in the face of competition for the good news in a country exhausted by a year of volatile restrictions. First, the daily case and death rates are much lower than they were a few weeks ago.
Since then, the vaccine campaign has been in full swing, and now there are three approved vaccines: Pfizer / Bioendech Alliance, Moderna and a few days later, Johnson & Johnson launched the first injection on Tuesday.
More than 78 million injections have already been administered in the country (for Pfizer and Moderna, it is two per person).
On Tuesday, Joe Biden announced two months ahead of schedule the availability of adequate immunizations for all American adults: it will be the end of May, not the end of July.
By promoting the figures, many politicians believe now is the time to ease restrictions, which largely depend on local authorities in the United States.
It’s time to reopen “100%,” Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday, estimating the country’s second-most populous state now has the means to protect its population. He suggested that residents should be personally vigilant at their level.
Ron Mart, who shouted “this announcement is awesome”, met on the outskirts of Houston, the state’s most populous city. “You have to let people make their own decisions. It doesn’t have to be.”
But the city’s Democratic mayor disagreed: “Every time we start moving in the right direction, the governor steps in and takes us away,” tweeted Sylvester Turner. He stressed that “it is wrong to remove the obligation to wear a mask.”
Last month, Iowa and Montana also made that decision.
In Massachusetts, restaurants have no capacity limit since Monday, thanks to a drop in “lawsuits and hospitals”, justifying the Republican governor.
In South Carolina, from Monday, meetings are no longer limited to 250 people.
Democratic cities like San Francisco follow the same movement: from Wednesday, you can again dine in restaurants at home or go to museums (with capacity limitations).
Variations are unknown
The United States is far from being out of the wild, especially experts who fear the impact of the new species. The most easily spread British should be the majority in the country by mid-March.
Ms Valensky expressed concern about the recent seven-day average, which shows a slight increase in the number of new infections and daily deaths. These are still at an all-time high: about 66,000 cases and 2,000 deaths a day.
“We know that can happen with the advent of new types,” he said. The British variant “threatens to alter our efforts.”
The approach of spring break, combined with the return of good weather, will increase travel and make it more worrying. A peak was observed after the Christmas holidays.
“We all look forward to a new wave,” Baylor Medical College professor Peter Hodges told MSNBC.