In a call to governors, Donald Trump said he was generally pleased with progress states have made in lifting restrictions and will only intervene if the government disagrees with states’ reopening plans.
Trump has pushed for states to reopen as quickly as possible, but many Democratic governors are refusing. In an interview on Fox News last week Trump called the Democrats’ reluctance “a political thing.”
“The governors are making their decisions, and want to make their decisions, and that’s the way I want it to, and we will step in if we see something going wrong, or if we disagree, and some people say that’s nice, and some people say I shouldn’t be doing that, but we’re going to do it if we see something wrong,” Trump said to the governors Monday, according to audio of the call obtained by CBS.
Trump continued: “If you have any problem, let me know please, but it seems that the governors are largely happy. And I think I can say extraordinarily happy with respect to what we’ve done.”
This is the great ideological divide that has separated Democrats and Republicans and mystified health professionals like Dr. Anthonly Fauci who can’t fathom why Trump doesn’t have a “national plan” to “address” the spread of the virus or lifting restrictions on the people and the economy.
There is no “national plan” because there can be no national response. What works in New York will not work in South Dakota or Montana where there are few cases and deaths. You can’t tell people to “shelter in place” when there is little or no danger to take shelter from.
So governors have largely been on their own with Washington stepping in to support when asked. It hasn’t been a perfect system by any means. But looking at the national picture, it couldn’t have worked any other way.
Meanwhile, Democratic governors have sought to keep their restrictions in place, citing public health concerns, despite prodding from the president and protesters gathering to call for the reopening of their states’ economies.
“I’ve been focused on doing my job, and I’m going to keep doing that and I’m not going to apologize about that. I’m not changing the way I run this state because of some protests,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in an exclusive interview with Fox News on Monday.
“We are in the third phase of a six-phase process to bring life back to normal,” she said. “But we have to be careful as we’ve had a really bad experience with COVID-19.”
Whitmer can do what she wants, but those who live in many rural counties in her state are suspicious of her motives. Her draconian stay-at-home orders were badly received by most and her whining about the Trump administration didn’t sit well with a large portion of her state.
She has lifted some of the restrictions under pressure. But Whitmer and other Democratic governors are behind the curve and once most other states open, they will eventually succumb to the popular will.
It could be that by election day, Trump’s response to the virus outbreak may not be as big an issue as the Democrats hope, and people will be looking at the progress of the economy toward recovery and decide who best to trust to do a better job.
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