President Trump wants governors to call the shot in reopening as he outlined how the state leaders could start the recovery process from the economic losses due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed thousands of lives and brought so many businesses to a halt as the U.S. begins to record decrease in COVID-19 cases.
“We’re starting our lives again. We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again. This is a gradual process,” Trump stated during his daily press briefing.
President Trump approach for returning to normalcy looks to loosen restrictions in places where there’re low coronavirus transmission cases, while still locking up the rules in places with high infected cases.
A total come-back to normal life activities would take a longer time than Mr. Trump had thought with federal officials stating that social distancing rules may remain in place throughout the year to avoid a new outbreak.
They largely strengthen the plans already under development by the state governors, who have the major responsibility for public health in their individual states.
During a conference call on Thursday afternoon, Trump told the governors, “You’re going to call your own shots, We’re going to be standing alongside you,” according to an audio recording archive by The Associated Press.
Areas with declining infections rate, with strong testing, would start a three-phase gradual reopening of businesses and schools process to avoid a new outbreak.
In the first phase of the reopening plan, social distancing for everyone in public is highly recommended, while gatherings of more than 10 persons and nonessential travel are discouraged.
The stage two would see the maximization of social distancing and allow not more than 50 people to gather with strict precautionary measures taken. And then travel could resume.
The final stage would see Americans return to normal life activities with the intention of identifying and isolating any new infection case.
Governors of both parties didn’t withhold to say they would move at their own pace. Delaware Governor, John Carney, a Democrat, said the guidelines “seem to make sense.”
“We’re days, maybe weeks away from the starting line and then you have to have 14 days of declining cases, of declining symptoms and hospital capacity that exists in case you have a rebound,” he said.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Trump ally, cautiously floated the idea of reopening parts of the state but said testing capacity and contact tracing would need to be considerably ramped up before restrictions could be safely lifted.
“All would be forgotten very quickly if we moved into a stage quicker than we should, and then we got into a situation where we had people dying like flies,” Justice told reporters.
At first, the reopening guidelines wanted to imply that the country could see a resumption in normal business activity and social gatherings after 30 days of evaluating whether lifting restrictions has led to a resurgence in virus cases or not.
Then Trump told the governors on the plan that they were going to be responsible for deciding when it is safe to lift restrictions in their various states. Just days before, he had drawn swift pushback for claiming he had total authority to determine how and when states reopen.
“We have a very large number of states that want to get going and they’re in very good shape. That’s good with us, frankly,” Trump said.
The federal government looks forward to a gradual recovery from the coronavirus, in which disruptive mitigation measures may be needed in some places at least until a vaccine is available, a target unlikely to be reached until next year.
“It’s not going to immediately be a situation where we have stadiums full of people. We’re Americans. We will adapt,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday.
President Trump on Thursday said the U.S. has “built the most advanced and robust testing anywhere in the world.” while some experts around him advised more would be needed.
“We are struggling with testing on a large scale. The View.” “You really can’t go back to work until we have more tests,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told ABC’s
Some of Trump’s conservative allies, like economist Stephen Moore, encouraged him to act swiftly, stating that “a mini Great Depression if we keep the economy shut down.”
“That is a catastrophic outcome for our country, Period. We can’t have 30 million people in this country unemployed or you’re going to have social chaos,” Moore said he advised the president.