So far, no spike in coronavirus in places reopening: Azar

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Sunday that he is not yet seeing spikes in coronavirus cases in places that are reopening, but that it's still too early to know.


"It's still early days. We think the tools are there."


Trump's health secretary also said on CBS's Face the Nation that there were serious health consequences to not reopening.


"This gets set up as a health versus economy kind of conflict. It's actually health versus health. We see suicidality. We see reduction in cardiac procedures, cancer screenings, pediatric vaccinations. There is a real, a very real health consequence to these shutdowns that must be balanced against as we try to reopen this economy and move forward."


Nearly all 50 U.S. states have begun to allow some businesses to reopen and residents to move more freely, but - according to a Reuters analysis - only 14 states have met the federal government's guidelines for lifting measures aimed at fighting the pandemic.


"The American people want the economy to open up. We all do."


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday it was impossible to know the trajectory of the virus without more testing.


"This- we haven't had a plan. Let's go forward in a bipartisan way to have a plan, a plan to test. We have no idea the size of this challenge to our country because we have not sufficiently tested. Let's test so that we can diagnose and then we can treat and then decrease the number of people have died."


The top Democrat in Congress also said legislation passed by the House on Friday would provide for the keys to a successful reopening.


Republicans have called the bill dead on arrival in the Senate.


The United States has lagged far behind most other industrialized nations in coronavirus testing that public health officials deem critical to preventing further outbreaks.


Azar was asked on CNN's "State of the Union" about images being broadcast from some areas of the country showing people gathering near bars and congregating close together. In response, Azar suggested that was the cost of freedom, saying: "I think in any individual instance you're going to see people doing things that are irresponsible. That's part of the freedom that we have here in America."