Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said Tuesday her city has yet to experience its “peak” of coronavirus infections, contradicting President Donald Trump’s description of the outbreak’s threat to the nation’s capital.
“We’re looking at all of the information coming in from our scientists and medical experts,” Bowser told CNN, when asked about her reluctance to reopen Washington’s economy. “And even looking to the guidelines put out by the White House corona task force would suggest that we have to have 14 days of declines in cases in our jurisdiction.”
Bowser added that the city’s “businesses and residents are working very hard to stay at home to make sure we can see that, but we haven’t hit that peak yet.”
The mayor’s remarks break with the president’s optimistic assessment Monday that cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, were on the downturn across several major American cities.
“Cases in New York area, New Orleans, Detroit, Boston, and Houston are declining,” Trump told reporters at a White House coronavirus news conference. “Denver, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, and St. Louis are all stable and declining. All parts of the country are either in good shape, getting better. In all cases, getting better.”
But in Washington, where Bowser has extended the city’s stay-at-home order through May 15, a total of 3,892 residents have become infected with Covid-19 as of Sunday, resulting in 185 deaths. Additionally, the city reported 965 new cases from April 20-26.
States across the country have begun opening back up for business this week despite federal social distancing guidance which expires at the end of the month, and many governors have not met White House recommendations urging states and localities to confirm a two-week downward trend in coronavirus symptoms and documented cases before easing restrictions.