On Jan. 29, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was promoting “marital bliss” at a coronavirus news conference.
Announcing that indoor dining would reopen at 25% capacity in New York City on Valentine’s Day, and wedding receptions could also resume with up to 150 people a month after, Cuomo suggested: “You propose on Valentine’s Day and then you can have the wedding ceremony March 15, up to 150 people. People will actually come to your wedding because you can tell them, with the testing, it will be safe. … No pressure, but it’s just an idea.”
Cuomo isn’t alone in taking measures to loosen pandemic-related restrictions. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allowed indoor dining to resume at 25% capacity starting Feb. 1. Idaho Gov. Brad Little increased limits on indoor gatherings from 10 to 50 people. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is raising business capacity from 25% to 40%, including at restaurants and gyms. California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted stay-at-home orders on Jan. 25.
To justify their reopening decisions, governors point to falling case counts. “We make decisions based on facts,” Cuomo said. “New York City numbers are down.”
But epidemiologists and public health experts say a crucial factor is missing from these calculations…coronavirus, Covid-19