There’s no doubt that America’s economy will suffer greatly from the COVID crisis. How much suffering, however, is left in the hands of our politicians.
It’s been weeks since businesses, schools, and other organizations were forced to close their doors. Many question now when we can begin to return to some semblance of normality.
While politicians and journalists choose to focus mainly on the health aspects of the shutdown, President Trump understands that it’s necessary to balance the health of citizens with the health of the economy.
The President recently announced the creation of a task force charged with reopening the United States economy. While several governors are tightening shutdown measures, the Trump administration is looking forward to reopening businesses.
Check out the President’s tweet from this morning about the matter:
Fox News reports the details on the President's plan:
President Trump said Monday he would make a decision -- "in conjunction" with governors and other officials -- on reopening the economy "shortly," as the White House forms a second coronavirus task force focused on that goal.
"For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government," Trump tweeted Monday.
"Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect. It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons," he continued. "With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue."
He added: "A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!"
The president's tweet comes as the "Opening our Country" task force is forming at the White House.
Sources told Fox News Monday that the second task force, which Trump first teased last Friday and is set to be formally introduced Tuesday, will be chaired by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The task force, according to sources, will also include members of President Trump’s Cabinet, including:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, Labor Secretary Gene Scalia, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and acting director of the Office of Management and Budget Russ Vought.
The task force is also expected to include acting chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Tom Philipson and White House advisers Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro, Chris Liddell, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
A source told Fox News that it is unclear whether there will be people from outside of government “officially” brought into this council, or if they will only be included in the consultation process.
The president first announced the task force on Friday during a coronavirus task force briefing, saying that he understands the gravity of the situation as he prepares to make a decision on whether to ease social distancing guidelines to open the economy, which has been largely shuttered in many states to curb transmission.
“I would say without question it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Trump said.
"It's been my honor to be the president for the American people… I have a big decision coming up and I only hope to God it’s the right decision," Trump said.
While many were quick to dismiss the President's idea that he can reverse shutdown measures, he did receive an outpouring of support on Twitter.
Take a look:
Politico added the following about the President's assertations:
“I like to allow governors to make decisions without overruling them, because from a constitutional standpoint, that’s the way it should be done,” he said. “If I disagreed, I would overrule a governor, and I have that right to do it. But I’d rather have them — you can call it ‘federalist,’ you can call it ‘the Constitution,’ but I call it ‘the Constitution’ — I would rather have them make their decisions.”
But pressed on what grounds he would have to reopen the country given his own refusal to impose a nationwide stay-at-home order, Trump was less deferential. “The states can do things if they want. I can override it if I want,” he said.
The president’s tweets Monday appeared to represent a similar attempt to flex his executive muscle as the White House weighs whether to extend stringent social-distancing guidelines beyond April 30.
Trump is anxious to reverse a dramatic slide in America’s economic fortunes that has sent jobless claims soaring and led to trillions of dollars in fiscal and monetary stimulus, and his aides are examining whether certain parts of the country could be safe to open in the near future.
Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration was eyeing May 1 as a target date for restarting the U.S. economy, but health officials stressed that much of the country must remain in lockdown even as they sounded increasingly optimistic notes about the success of the federal mitigation measures.
“There’s no doubt that we have to reopen correctly,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday. “It’s going to be a step-by-step, gradual process. It’s got to be data-driven, and as I said, I think it would be community-by-community, county-by-county.”
At least one federal agency is already having conversations about what business operations would look like when people head back to work at government buildings and how to communicate to employees about the uncertain return to normal, according to a U.S. government official familiar with the matter.
The Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget have had continuous discussions about how to unwind the telework guidance that has been issued to federal workers when the time is right, another Trump administration official said.
During a press conference, Trump stated that taking action to reopen the American economy would be one of the biggest decisions of his life.
See the President's comments below: