Donald Trump claimed total power to lift the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, contradicting governors and legal experts. “The president of the United States calls the shots,” he said during a press conference.
The US Constitution says the states maintain public order and safety. Ten states on the US East and West coasts plan to lift the strict stay-at-home orders.
What did Trump say?
Donald Trump told the daily White House coronavirus briefing on Monday that his administration plans to reopen the US economy. It has been largely shut down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The Trump administration said that 1 May would be the potential date for easing the restrictions. The current White House recommendations for Americans expire on 30 April.
According to BBC News when journalists asked Mr. Trump if he has the authority to over-ride stay-at-home orders imposed, he said: “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total.”
But legal experts say that the president doesn’t have the authority to reverse a public health restriction put in place at the state or local level.
Donald Trump told reports that the number of deaths started to decrease, indicating that social distancing efforts succeed.
What did the governors say?
Governors said that it’s their prerogative when the coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted. “Well, seeing as how we had the responsibility for closing the state down, I think we probably have the primary responsibility for opening it up.” said Tom Wolf, a governor from Pennsylvania.
State governors discuss plans to resume economic activity without the input of Trump’s administration.
The governor Andrew Cuomo told a briefing he believed the “worst is over” for his state. “Nobody has been here before, nobody has all the answers,” he said. “Addressing public health and the economy: which one is first? They’re both first.” he added.
What strategies other countries take?
The Chinese province of Wuhan has partially reopened after more than two months of isolation. Spain allowed around 300,000 workers to return to their jobs.
Italy will allow a narrow range of businesses to resume operations this week. In France, the president announced the country’s near-lockdown will extend until 11 May.
The UK government said no one should expect any changes to its lockdown restrictions this week.
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