Trump to US governors: Reopening states is your call

US President Donald Trump has told the nation’s governors “you’re going to call your own shots” as he prepared to unveil national guidelines on when and how the country starts to recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump is set to issue new guidelines aimed at clearing the way for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in check in harder-hit places. 

Ultimately, decisions on when to ease up will rest with governors.

Trump talks to governors before he unveils the guidelines to the public in the evening. The announcement comes on the same day the government said 5.2 million more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week.

Trump said on Monday that his “authority is total” to reopen states but has since backed away from that claim after governors pointed out the Constitution does not grant the president that power.

Trump tells the governors some of them are in good shape to open their states quickly, but others are in tough shape. He remarks that requests for ventilators have gone away, adding, “I say that respectfully.” He also asserts that “we’re in excellent shape” on testing, which many health care officials have disputed.

— AP

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