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Health vs Economy: Passionate COVID-19 opinions in El Paso County

Coronavirus COVID-19 background
Posted at 7:30 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 21:39:16-04

EL PASO COUNTY — Debate over COVID-19 prevention orders versus the economic consequences of community closure made its way to a meeting of El Paso County Commissioners. “We're not all dropping dead from this virus. If you look at the numbers, it just doesn't bare out, what we put our society through," said one El Paso County resident speaking to commissioners during public comment. Close to ten people went before commissioners lobbying them to expedite a full reopening of local businesses.

The comments followed a presentation from El Paso County Public Health Department leaders, showing the latest data tracking COVID-19 in the county. It shows “the curve” flattening and hospitalizations dropping during the weeks of social distancing and stay at home orders.

After citizen comments, Dr. Leon Kelly, Deputy Medical Director for El Paso County Health, passionately gave rebuttal to some of the claims. "You don't get to turn around and say, well see nobody died, you guys don't know what you're talking about."

He points to tens of thousands of deaths in the United States in just four months. "Those deaths are in the presence of the most aggressive public health measures ever taken in the history of this country,” said Kelly, “We still are going to have 80 to 100 thousand people die."

County Commissioners say they trust the recommendations of the medical experts at Public Health.