Reopening American economy remains a contentious topic among those in Congress

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WASHINGTON (WCMH) — Some health experts and lawmakers say reopening the country too quickly could lead to a massive spike in sickness and death.

“People who say ‘Open the government, open the economy now, get back to work,’ we’ll be back in a bad, bad place again,” Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said.

Brown says he understands why Americans, like protesters in Columbus, want to end to stay at home orders. But he adds doing so could come at a significant cost, including loss of life due to COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t open the government, the country, until we know this pandemic is in the rearview mirror,” he said. “It’s not even close to that.”

But others like Indiana Representative Trey Hollingsworth say its time to form a plan to reopen.

“We cannot continue to tell people shelter in place, stay in your home forever,” Hollingsworth said. “We need a phase two and a better plan for how we deal with and mitigate these risks going forward.”

Hollingsworth faced criticism this week when he said Americans dying was the lesser of two evils when compared to a badly damaged economy.

“What I was trying to convey is ultimately there is economic costs,” he said.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy acknowledges reopening the economy will cause coronavirus hotspots to break out once again.

“But how can we deal with that?” he asked. “Testing, tracing of the individual where they are and taking care of those hotspots very quickly.”

Experts say reopening will likely involve long-term changes, including extending social distance guidelines well into the future.

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