CDC Director Says 20 US States Could Be Ready to Reopen May 1

April 16, 2020 Updated: April 16, 2020

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that around 19 or 20 states might be ready to reopen their economies by May 1, weeks after dozens of governors implemented statewide stay-at-home orders to reduce the spread of the CCP virus.

“There are a number of counties within this country that have not experienced really any coronavirus despite testing,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the agency, said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” this week.

“There are a number of states—19, 20 states—that really have had limited impact from it. So I think we will see some states that are, the governors feel that they’re ready, we’re poised to assist them with that reopening,” he said.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes some states will be ready to reopen by the first day of May, saying he would make an announcement on new guidelines Thursday. Earlier this week, the president said he’s close to coming up with a final plan for ending the country’s shutdown amid the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus pandemic.

However, Redfield cautioned that the United States should brace for another outbreak of the CCP virus, a type of novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, next year.

“I think we have to assume this is like other respiratory viruses, and there will be a seasonality to it,” he added in the “Good Morning America” interview.

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President Donald Trump speaks as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health Anthony Fauci (L), Vice President Mike Pence (2L), and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield (R) look on during a press conference. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

As a result, the country has to start ramping up testing capacity now and implement other control measures including contact tracing to prepare for another significant outbreak, he said.

“The CDC is science-based, data-driven, [so] until we see it, we don’t know for certain [there will be a resurgence],” Redfield remarked. “But it is critical that we plan that this virus is likely to follow a seasonality pattern similar to flu, and we’re going to have another battle with it upfront and aggressively next winter.”

More than 600,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the United States and at least 26,000 deaths, according to a running tally provided by Johns Hopkins University.

Mitigation steps including people staying physically separated would likely have to continue until treatments or a vaccine are available, Redfield added.

“I do think we’re going to have some social distancing that’s going to be a critical part of our strategy as we go forward,” he also CBS’s “This Morning.”

On Wednesday evening, Trump said the apex of CCP virus cases has been reached in the United States. He is now slated to speak with governors on Thursday before releasing a plan for May 1 guidelines.

“We’ll be the comeback kids, all of us,” the president said during a nightly White House briefing. “We want to get our country back.”

In confirming Trump’s statement about cases reaching their peak, White House pandemic task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said there has been a national decline in new daily cases.