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White House docs shows Mississippi and 17 other states in coronavirus “red zone”


An unpublished document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force and obtained by the Center for Public Integrity suggests more than a dozen states should revert to more stringent protective measures, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer, closing bars and gyms and asking residents to wear masks at all times.


-The document, dated July 14, says 18 states are in the “red zone” for COVID-19 cases, meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. Eleven states are in the “red zone” for test positivity, meaning more than 10 percent of diagnostic test results came back positive. 


-It includes county-level data and reflects the insistence of the Trump administration that states and counties should take the lead in responding to the coronavirus. The document has been shared within the federal government but does not appear to be posted publicly.


-“Why are we hiding this information from the American people? This should be published and updated every day," said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute


-Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the task force, referenced an earlier version of what appears to be the same report. She said Arizona, California, Florida and Texas were among the states the task force was monitoring carefully and that “a series of other states” were also in the red zone and should consider limiting gatherings.


-It’s clear some states are not following the task force’s advice. The document recommends that Georgia, in the red zone for both cases and test positivity, “mandate statewide wearing of cloth face coverings outside the home.” But Gov. Brian Kemp  signed an order Wednesday banning localities from requiring masks.


For full data on your state, click here: https://publicintegrity.org/health/coronavirus-and-inequality/exclusive-white-house-document-shows-18-states-in-coronavirus-red-zone-covid-19/



This article was originally published by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit newsroom based in Washington, D.C.


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