Trump tells governors new rules may allow US regions to ease coronavirus restrictions: ‘We have to open up our country, I’m sorry’

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President Donald Trump on Thursday told governors the US has to “get smart” and ease coronavirus restrictions to reopen the economy. 
“We have to open up our country, I’m sorry,” Trump said on a phone call with governors. 
This came as the president sent a letter to governors alerting them the federal government is working on new coronavirus guidelines that would label counties based on their risk level. 
Public health experts have warned that prematurely lifting coronavirus restrictions could exacerbate the pandemic. 
The US has also lagged behind much of the world in terms of testing for the virus, which means it doesn’t have a full picture of the scale of the outbreak within its borders. 

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The US government is working to develop new guidelines for coronavirus based on risk levels in counties across the country, President Donald Trump told governors in a letter on Thursday. 

The plan would label counties as “high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk.”

“This is what we envision: Our expanded testing capacities will quickly enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation’s public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risks posed by the virus,” Trump said in the letter. “This will incorporate robust surveillance testing, which allows us to monitor the spread of the virus throughout the country. Under these data-driven critieria, we will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk.”

Trump has grown impatient with the negative economic impact of restrictions put in place to quell the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, and in recent days has been pushing for the stringent measures to be scaled back. Earlier this week, Trump said he wanted the US opened up and “just raring to go” by Easter, which is April 12. 

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“We all have to get smart,” Trump said on a phone call with governors on Thursday, a recording of which was obtained by the Associated Press. “We have to open up our country, I’m sorry.”

During the call, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee challenged Trump after the president said his administration is ready to “backup” states in crises due to the pandemic, according to the Washington Post. “We don’t need a backup. We need a Tom Brady,” Inslee said to Trump, referencing the six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider. 

The president has limited power in terms of forcing states to lift restrictions put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus, largely due to the 10th amendment to the US Constitution. And governors in hard-hit states have signaled they do not want to risk lives by prematurely removing measures such as shuttering nonessential businesses and essentially ordering people to shelter-in-place. 

“No American is going to say, ‘accelerate the economy at the cost of human life.’ Because no American is going to say how much a life is worth,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday during a press …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Politics

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