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Fearing a resurgence of the novel coronavirus, a handful of mayors said they would consider banning mass gatherings until next year.
Concerts and sporting events in Los Angeles could be off the table until next year to help ensure the eradication of Covid-19, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.
“It’s difficult to imagine us getting together in the thousands anytime soon, so I think we should be prepared for that this year,” Garcetti said on CNN. “I think we all have never wanted science to work so quickly, but until there’s either a vaccine, some sort of pharmaceutical intervention or herd immunity, the science is the science. And public health officials have made very clear we have miles and miles to walk before we can be back in those environments.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made similar comments on the network Wednesday, saying in an interview that large-scale sporting events, including New York Yankees games, are unlikely to resume in the near future.
“It’s going to be awhile,” he said. “I think we are all missing sports. Everyone who is a fan is missing it deeply, but that’s again exactly the point. If we move too quick, we put 50,000 people in Yankee Stadium, and that’s part of why you’d see a resurgence of the disease. That would be the worst of all worlds.”
That prediction extended to other large gatherings as well, the mayor said.
“You can’t have sporting events and big crowds until you can prove that you’ve brought this disease down to something very limited and you’re holding there,” he said.
Elected officials in other cities were stressing similar precautions. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Tuesday that festivals and other events that had already been postponed due to the pandemic could be canceled altogether until next year at the earliest.
"My opinion is all of that should be pushed back, period," she said at a press conference at city hall. "Absolutely no large events as it relates to the year of 2020."
In Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson said he expects the city to continue to prohibit large events through the summer, though his administration later said it would simply “continue to follow the direction of the governor and the CDC in regards to mass gatherings.”
The statements came as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States climbed to 605,390, with 24,582 deaths, as of Wednesday. All 50 states have reported cases, along with the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the North Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands, according to the CDC.