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Ohio governor says coronavirus cases in state likely won’t peak until May

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Wednesday warned that the coronavirus pandemic in the state may not peak until as late as May.

“We hope everyone is back in business shortly, but we don’t think this will peak until May 1. The only way we slow it down is with physical/social distancing,” DeWine tweeted Wednesday.

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The governor’s tweet comes as some public figures and elected officials, including President Trump, have urged a swift reopening of businesses and institutions to prevent further economic damage amid the pandemic, with Trump pushing to have the country “opened up” by Easter — Sunday, April 12. Public health officials have warned against such a move before the infection curve is flattened.

Former Vice President Joe Biden also warned against such a move, telling reporters in a virtual briefing Wednesday, “Look, we all want to get back to normal as quickly as possible, but we have a lot to do to make that possible. We have to do it in a smart way — not on some arbitrary or symbolic timeline.”

DeWine tweeted similar comments Tuesday, writing: “When people are dying and people don’t feel safe, the economy is not going to come back. We have to #FlattenTheCurve so that when the wave comes, it’s not as big as it would have been and we are prepared for it.”

Other Republican governors have also pushed back against the suggestion of ending social distancing measures by Easter.

“I hope the president’s right, let me just say that,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) told reporters Tuesday. “But the reality of it is, we’re planning this much longer than two weeks here in the state of Missouri. And I think that’s how you do — to make a good plan — how you’re going deal with the crisis.”

“Whatever messages that are coming out of Washington, we are going to make sure we take care of the needs of New Hampshire first,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said at a briefing Tuesday. “What we aren’t going to do is overly accelerate or loosen regulations just for the sake of the economy and at the risk of public health.”

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