"Smart behaviors" like wearing masks and social distancing are the way to stem the rapidly growing coronavirus numbers being seen nationwide, not closing the economy again, Rep. Kevin Brady said Monday. Brady insisted that more deaths have happened in "lockdown states" like New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.
“The deadliest per-capita rates are in the ‘lockdown states,’ New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Pennsylvania,” the Texas Republican told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "The ‘reopening states’ have some of the lowest COVID fatalities per person. Of the top 10 states, the safest rates are in Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Arizona.”
Texas, along with Florida, hit record numbers of daily coronavirus cases over the July 4 weekend, reporting 8,256 new cases. Florida, meanwhile, reported 11,445 new cases.
But the COVID-19 death rates are much lower in Texas and Florida, with Texas reporting 9.1 deaths per 100,000 people and Florida reporting 17.4 per 100,000. In comparison, New Jersey has had a death rate of 170.5 per 100,000, and New York had 164.6 per 100,000.
In those states, however, most of the deaths came in the early part of the pandemic, when the treatments available now had not yet been made available.
Texas and Florida were also among the first to ease statewide stay-at-home orders, and Brady said Monday he thinks it was important to reopen.
"For the first month and a half, we saw a drop in infection rates and a drop in hospitalizations as well. But since the Memorial Day, certainly, you’ve seen just the opposite,” Brady said. “The next couple of weeks are critical.”
He also said that everyone expected flareups, and he does not think states reopened too soon.
“The answer to this is not more locking down of the economy. It is those smart behaviors, both by individuals and businesses,” he said. “The debate is, ‘Did states reopen [too early] and should we relock them?’ My answer is I don’t believe that’s the solution.”
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