As virus cases surge, elected officials resist restrictions

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By MICHELLE R. SMITH, CARLA K. JOHNSON and LISA MARIE PANE Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — With the coronavirus coming back with a vengeance across the country and the U.S. facing a long, dark winter, governors and other elected officials are showing little appetite for imposing the kind of lockdowns and large-scale business closings seen last spring.

Many also continue to resist issuing statewide mask rules.

Among the reasons given: public fatigue, fear of doing more damage to already-crippled businesses, lack of support from Washington, and the way efforts to tame the virus have become ferociously politicized.

“I think that governors and mayors are, again, are in a really tough spot. The American population is emotionally and economically exhausted,” Dr. Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

“I think that there are some minimum things that governors and mayors could and should be doing right now. But the trouble is, without support from the federal government, it becomes very difficult to do these things,” Ranney said, citing the need for a stimulus package from Washington to help businesses pull…



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