Conversations around reopening the economy are ramping up. Behind the scenes, many Republican governors are expressing concern on how they will navigate a scenario in which President Trump reopens the economy before their states are ready, according to multiple sources in and around these discussions.
Modeling suggests a slew of red states will not hit their worst points until later this month, making reopening the economy in those areas by early May nearly impossible.
Most Republican governors have sought to align with Trump during this outbreak, and a demand from the White House to reopen the economy would complicate that mission. If there appears to be viable movement towards reopening too early — the administration will face some pushback from their allies.
According to one source familiar with the conversation among GOP governors, the hope overall right now is that “this is all Trump talk” and that cooler heads — such as his well-known coronavirus advisers Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx — will prevail.
Some background: Trump’s aides have begun intensive discussions on a plan to reopen the US economy as soon as the start of May, according to people familiar with the deliberations.
This morning on CNN’s New Day, Fauci was asked if he thought social distancing guidelines should be relaxed by May 1, and responded “the virus kind of decides whether or not it’s going to be appropriate to open or not.”
Fauci added that prior to re-opening the country, he would like to see a “clear indication” that reported cases are going down.
“One thing you don’t want to do is you don’t want to get out there prematurely and then wind up — you’re back in the same situation,” Fauci told CNN adding, “we’re looking for the kinds of things that would indicate that we can go forward in a gradual way to essentially reopen the country to a more normal way.”
In Friday’s White House briefing, Trump said he listens to everything that both Drs. Fauci and Birx say.