After attracting criticism last month for encouraging Americans to congregate in bars during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is continuing to downplay the need for social distancing measures recently extended at a federal level by Donald Trump.
“The schools were just canceled out here in California, which is way overkill,” he said, adding that he believes it is “possible kids could have gone back to school in two weeks, four weeks.”
As for his impatience, Nunes claimed that the economy would suffer irreparable harm if recommendations meant to limit the spread of the highly contagious disease were not scaled back soon.
“I will tell you this: If we don’t start to get people back to work in this country over the next week to two weeks, I don’t believe we can wait until the end of April,” he said in a recent interview. “I just don’t know of any economy that’s ever survived or you unplug the entire economy and expect things to go back and be normal.”
State health officials, on the other hand, say social distancing and mandates for residents to stay at home are precisely the tools Californians should use to prevent widespread illness and death.
Dr. Robert Levin, public health officer for Ventura County, said the county could see up to 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths, adding that the “actions we’re taking we hope will curtail that and diminish that significantly.”
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