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Trump contends that it’s HIS decision when to reopen states, NOT that of governors

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President Donald Trump announced that a decision “will be made shortly” about reopening the U.S. economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Not only did the president reveal in tweets posted Monday that he will soon be announcing a decision about getting businesses restarted and reviving the economy, he made it perfectly clear that the determination will be decided by himself “in conjunction with” the nation’s governors.

(Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

“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,” Trump tweeted on Monday.

“Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect. It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons,” he continued.

The president went on to say that he and his administration are continuing to work “closely” with governors across the nation, adding that a “decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

Guidelines set by the White House last month, urging social distancing and closing of non-essential businesses to stem the spread of COVID-19, are set to expire on April 30, and the president has repeatedly made it clear in recent comments that he wants the country to begin to return to work.

With most states issuing stay-at-home orders, the economy has been in free-fall as nearly 17 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Trump admitted that the determination to reopen the economy is the biggest decision of his life.

“I’m gonna have to make a decision, and I only hope to God it is the right decision,” Trump said at Friday’s coronavirus task force news briefing at the White House. “But I would say without question, it is the biggest decision I have ever had to make.”

Trump announced last week that he would be launching  an “Opening our Country” task force, which he said he would formally introduce on Tuesday.

The council is reportedly to be chaired by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and will include members of Trump’s Cabinet, such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, among others.

Though the president pushed back against the “conflict and confusion” over the decision to restart the U.S. economy, he did say during Friday’s news briefing that he would be weighing recommendations from health experts as well.

”We’re not doing anything until we know that this country is going to be healthy. We don’t want to go back and start doing it over again,” he said.

Naturally Trump critics pushed back on the president’s contention that the economy decision will be made by him, arguing that state and local governments should be making their own decisions. Of course, it was only a few weeks ago when Trump was slammed for letting local governments make their own decisions about stay-at-home orders as he resisted calls for a national lockdown.

Several governors have indicated that they are looking at reopening businesses soon, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated he will be consulting with other governors in the northeast.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told Fox News on Monday that while experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci offer beneficial assessments, they should not dictate policy and it is ultimately up to “elected officials” in the executive branch of the government to decide what is best for the country based on all the information.

“We live in a democracy. We live in a country where we elect our leaders to make decisions — we do not relegate, delegate, and give over those decisions to people, no matter how smart they are; we don’t give them to people who haven’t been elected by we the people,” Huckabee said.

Frieda Powers

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