Arizona started a limited reopening plan on May 8. Four days earlier state officials directed Arizona State University and University of Arizona researchers modeling the projections for state coronavirus cases to “pause” all their work. “Also, we have been asked to pull back the special data sets which have been shared under this public health emergency effort,” the order said, according to a copy obtained by BuzzFeed News.
The university models had suggested the only way to keep deaths from rising in the state was to delay reopening until the end of May, but the state officials had said they wanted to rely on federal models instead. After the researchers said they planned to continue releasing their projections anyway, the state backed down from the pause order.
Georgia was among the first states to reopen business, on April 27. The state was criticized last week for mistakes in its data just ahead of its reopening, showing that new cases in counties with the highest infection rates had been in a steady two-week decline when in fact they’d stayed flat. The same errors were made three times. Critics suggested that the mixed-up dates and incorrect case counts were part of misleading bids to suggest that fewer people were getting sick just ahead of reopening.