President Donald Trump is expressing hopes that some states and areas could re-open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but those hopes could put him on a collision course with state governors, including Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Earlier this week, President Trump insisted that he “called the shots” when it came to determining whether to re-open states after “stay-at-home” orders were put into effect, but even after he backed off of those comments on Tuesday, Pritzker was still critical of the assertion of power.
“It’s a good thing that the president finally recognized that it’s the Constitution that authorizes the governors to have the power to reopen their states,” Pritzker said during an appearance on “Erin Burnett Out Front.”
Governor Pritzker is working with governors of other Midwestern states on ideas on how to safely re-open their economies, and has laid out a blueprint for what would have to happen for Illinois to start moving back toward normal operations.
Pritzker says that the state of Illinois must step up its coronavirus testing, both for the virus itself and for antibodies in the bloodstream of those who have recovered from the virus. The state must also work on contact tracing, to be able to contact individuals who have come in contact with residents who have tested positive for the virus.
Finally, Pritzker says new treatments to lessen the severity of the virus will be required, as herd immunity and a vaccine are still likely months, or even years, away.
President Trump, who has said that he feels some areas not hard hit by the virus can re-open before social distancing guidelines expire at the end of the month, disagrees with the cautious approach, saying the White House will issue guidelines on how they feel a re-opening of the economy should be rolled out.
“I will be authorizing each individual governor, of each individual state, to implement a reopening and a very powerful reopening plan for their state in a time and a manner as most appropriate,” Trump said.
Hours after suggesting that the bipartisan concerns of governors about his assertion of power would amount to an insurrection, Trump abruptly reversed course, saying that governors would be “responsible.”
The president said he will teleconference with governors this week to discuss plans to re-open the economy.
Trump will speak to governors this week via teleconference, but warned that governors could face consequences if they take too long to re-open their states.
“If they don’t do a good job we’re going to come down on them hard,” the president said.