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Health Secretary says areas reopening have not had surges in COVID-19 cases

Reopening is important for economic and health reasons, Secretary Azar said.

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on April 3, 2020
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on April 3, 2020
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Updated: May 17, 2020 - 5:44pm

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that parts of the country that are reopening have not had surges of COVID-19 cases.

During an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Jake Tapper asked Azar about states like Georgia and Colorado.

"We are seeing that in areas that are opening we're not seeing this spike in cases, we still see spikes in some areas that are in fact closed, very localized situations," Azar said, noting that the situation will need to be monitored.

Azar noted that President Trump is allowing states to determine their own paths toward reopening, though he said that the process is important not just for economic reasons but also for health reasons.

"There should not be one-size-fits all approaches to reopening," Azar said. "But reopen we must because it's not health versus the economy, it's actually health versus health. There are serious health consequences to keeping us shut down."

Tapper asked Azar about people who flout guidance by not wearing masks nor engaging in social distancing.

"I think in any individual instance you're gonna see people doing things that are irresponsible, that's part of the freedom that we have here in America," Azar said.