LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Four weeks after Governor Pete Ricketts began putting strict restrictions on businesses across the state, a couple of state senators want to remove most of them, allowing business to re-open across Nebraska.
The two senators, Steve Halloran of Hastings and Steve Erdmsn of Bayard, wrote an op-ed in The Hastings Tribune which stated “the cure is worse than the disease.”
They want restrictions loosened and the state to open back up.
Halloran and Erdman, two conservative state senators from central and western Nebraska, say the models now project around 61,000 people dying, numbers similar to the flu.
Therefore they are questioning whether the government overreacted to the coronavirus.
They now want to continue to isolate the vulnerable, while allowing the rest of Nebraska's population to get the virus.
They hope after four weeks, 80 percent of the state would have ‘herd immunity.’
“Few of these individuals will ever experience symptoms worthy of hospitalization because they lack the preconditions for a serious illness,” say the senators.
In response Governor Ricketts said that he would love to open up businesses statewide. But he's worried the healthcare system would be overwhelmed.
“Herd immunity is not a plan, it’s something that happens over time. The question is how quickly does it happen. If it happens too quickly you’re going to overwhelm your healthcare system,” says Ricketts.
Governor Ricketts points to Grand Island, saying hospitalizations occurred a week or two after they saw a spike in positive tests.
“So there’s a lag effect there from that happening and so we saw the high tests from positivity and now we’re seeing the hospitals get more patients,” says Ricketts.
By the end of the month the governor will be making decisions on opening back up the state’s restaurants and bars.
He says he will likely get some guidance from the Trump administration, something they had before the restrictions were put into place.
“I do expect to get that kind of guidance just because they’ve given it in the past, not because they told me specially they’re going to,” says Ricketts.