President Donald Trump has been clamoring to reopen the economy after the implementation of aggressive social distancing measures meant to stem the spread of the Coronavirus, but governors around the country have been announcing plans to band together and go their own way — which, just to be clear, they’ve been doing since the beginning, no matter Trump’s pompous but ultimately false claims that he’s the final authority on the closing and reopening of the economy at the state level. This Monday, governors of California, Oregon, and Washington announced that they’d be working together to develop and implement a joint plan for reopening their states’ economies that closely considered the actual conditions and need for safety on the ground.
In a joint statement, Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom, and Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee, all of whom are Democrats, shared:
‘COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities. We are announcing that California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business. COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground.’
The West Coast was one of the first locales to face a heavy Coronavirus onslaught — and their plan of action in response has proven decidedly effective.
California, for example, instituted a stay-at-home order with less than 1,000 Coronavirus cases confirmed in the state, and as of late Monday evening, they have just 23,915 cases confirmed — far below the level of a slew of states including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Michigan, which have some of the highest case concentrations in the country. New York state has already suffered more than 10,000 Coronavirus deaths.
This Monday, governors including New York’s Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, Delaware’s John Carney, and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island announced their own plan to cooperate in developing a plan to reopen their economies when the time comes.
Cuomo described the modus operandi:
‘Study the data, study the research, study the experiences of other countries, and give us guidelines and parameters to go forward. Let’s be smart and let’s be cooperative and let’s learn from one another.’
Cuomo has been a high-profile figure amidst the fight against the Coronavirus. His state implemented a stay-at-home order only after thousands of cases were already confirmed in the state. Now, the state of New York has suffered a death toll that’s more than double that which they suffered on 9/11, among other grim metrics.
This Monday, Trump tweeted a claim that he’s the ultimate authority on reopening the economy.
‘For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government. Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect’
That, quite simply, is wrong. He’s making it up. Governors are the ones who have implemented binding stay-at-home orders.
….It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020