On Thursday, President Donald Trump reportedly told governors across the nation that they may choose to re-open their state economy before May 1.
“You’re going to call your own shots,” President Trump told the governors on a collective phone call, The New York Times reported after reviewing audio of the call.
“You’re going to be calling the shots,” the president reportedly insisted. “We’ll be standing right alongside of you, and we’re going to get our country open and get it working. People want to get working.”
Last month, Trump extended the initial “15 days to stop the spread” federal anti-coronavirus campaign to April 30, though he kicked around the idea of an Easter Sunday opening before the extension.
Even April 30, however, was not set in stone. Trump has repeatedly refused to definitively say if he would give the green light to re-opening at the end of the month, and he’s even suggested he would have total authority over the states’ restart dates. The reported Thursday phone call, clearly, set a different tone.
“Some of you are in very, very good shape to open quickly and, if you’d like, according to the guidelines, you could open before the date of May 1,” Trump encouraged governors, adding that if they wanted to take their time, that would be fine.
POTUS has routinely commented on the economy, noting that we have to get back to work, and the American people want to get to work.
Trump’s once booming economy has been brought to its knees by anti-coronavirus measures. A report from the Department of Labor released Thursday showed more than 5 million Americans filed for unemployment, totaling a whopping 22 million unemployed people in the nation. As noted by The Daily Wire, “Experts now predict that, once coronavirus lockdowns are rolled back, the American unemployment rate could hover between 15% and 20%.”
Later on Thursday evening, Trump is set to brief the American public about opening up the nation’s economy and is expected to talk about contact tracing and other measures to help with the process.
“The president will announce a plan in the works to drastically increase the capacity for state and local health departments to do core public health work like testing people, doing contact tracing,” an official told the Times. “We want to beef up state capacity to be able to perform core functions, so that if and when we start to open the country back up, we don’t have a resurgence of cases to require the country to shut back down.”
According to CNN, Trump’s reopening plan is likely to include “guarantees of ramped-up coronavirus testing before people return to work” and “guidance to states on how to best assess whether they are ready to move away from social distancing, including creating specific thresholds for a reduction in cases and hospital capacity that would trigger a change in status.”
“Major News Conference tonight, the White House at 6:00 P.M. (Eastern), to explain Guidelines for OPENING UP AMERICA AGAIN!” the president tweeted in anticipation of the presser.
Related: Michigan Gov. Whitmer Hit With Multiple Lawsuits Over Coronavirus Order