‘We will see brighter days’: Baker addresses Trump’s phased approach to reopening economy

BOSTON (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker addressed President Trump’s phased approach to reopening the economy on Friday, agreeing with the fact that all states, including Massachusetts, must boost coronavirus testing capacity and see a decline in hospitalizations and new cases for at least two weeks before any decision can be made.

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“The [Trump] administration has rightly deferred to states to make the best decisions on behalf of their residents,” Baker said. “Notably, before any state should consider efforts to slowly return to normal life, health experts urge states to look for infection rates and hospitalizations to be on the decline.”

Baker noted that Massachusetts is still seeing day-to-day increases in positive cases and hospitalizations as the pandemic continues to surge toward its peak.

There were 159 new coronavirus-related deaths reported on Friday, marking the fourth straight day of at least 100 fatalities in the Bay State.

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While Baker declared earlier this week that Massachusetts was already in the surge, he explained Friday that it could be a long-awaited return to normalcy because the surge “arrives in different states and different regions at different times.”

“The process through which people will presume and move forward past the surge is going to vary depending upon when they actually see themselves in a situation where they see the kind of declines that were talked about in the recommendations.”

Baker said health officials are working around the clock to expand testing capacity, build a robust contact tracing network, and get people well again.

“We are urging everyone at home to do your part and hang in there,” Baker said. “We’re also in discussion with other states and the business community to start building plans on how to gradually and safely reopen the economy.”

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In the meantime, Baker urged all residents to keep practicing social distancing and wearing a mask in public because they are the “best tools” to stop the virus and the spread.

Baker said he will always “put the needs of Massachusetts first” and continue to “fight full force” to facilitate a return to normalcy.

“There’s no doubt we will recover and we will see brighter days,” Baker said.

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