More than 150 medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses and others have signed on to an open letter calling on U.S. leaders to “shut it down, start over, do it right,” asking for the country to be locked down again to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The letter appears on the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups website and is addressed to “decision makers” and recognizes how the country shutdown in March to stop the spread. There were early signs of decreasing infection rates.
“You didn’t use the time to set us up to defeat the virus. And then you started to reopen anyway, and too quickly. Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on to talk about suggested standards before businesses and non-essential locations can open, including lower infection rate and the capacity to test and track cases.
“If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death,” the letter says.
This comes as the U.S. reaches above 4 million cases of coronavirus Thursday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 "will end up as a Top 10 leading cause of death" this year, statisticians predicted in an email to CNN.
Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in the US, accounting for more than half of all US deaths each year, and the statisticians don't expect that to change.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that U.S. PIRG was founded in 1984 when it was actually started in 1983.