Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said on Sunday that the United States can move forward in workplaces reopening despite more new COVID-19 cases being reported.
“We can reopen while the virus is still there,” he added.
Scalia said he’s optimistic about the reopenings because of the job report.
Meanwhile, more stimulus measures are needed to keep the economy on track.
More discussion will happen toward the end of July about a phase four stimulus package that is supported by the president.
The president also wants a payroll tax cut, he said.
The Trump administration attributed the increase in new cases to increased testing.
“New China Virus Cases up (because of massive testing), deaths are down, ‘low and steady,’” Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Monday.
The labor secretary suggested that the rise in new cases could also partly caused by reopenings, but that the administration is in better shape to handle it now than a few months ago.
“We knew that as people came out of their homes, emerged from their basements and alike, we knew that cases would go up,” he said. “[but] we are far, far better prepared to deal with those cases now ... We have the equipment, the hospital beds now to deal with the situation. So this is something that we can manage.”
However, he emphasized individual responsibility and precautions underscored by President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence.
“It will get more challenging if people don’t take that seriously,” he said.