Northeast Governors Say They Should Decide When States Reopen
President Donald Trump declared he has the absolute authority to say when the country will reopen. Northeast governors don't think that should be the case.
On Monday, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island announced they are working together to create a joint plan on how and when to restart the economy.
Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, the governors announced the creation of a multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states' ongoing regional approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"We have been collaborating closely with our neighboring states to combat this pandemic through a uniform approach to social distancing and density reduction and it has been working well. Now it is time to start opening the valve slowly and carefully while watching the infection rate meter so we don't trigger a second wave of new infections," New York Gov. Andre Cuomo said. "This is not a light switch that we can just flick on and everything goes back to normal - we have to come up with a smart, consistent strategy to restart the systems we shut down and get people back to work, and to the extent possible we want to do that through a regional approach because we are a regional economy. New York is partnering with these five states to create a multi-state council that will come up with a framework based on science and data to gradually ease the stay at home restrictions and get our economy back up and running."
The coordinating group - comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state -- will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states' stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.
"No one has given more thought or is more eager to restart our economy than I am, but if we don't get the sequencing right, we put more lives at risk. The only path to a sustainable economic recovery is through a strong healthcare recovery. Then, and only then, do we position ourselves to fully ignite our economy and get the residents of our state back to work while minimizing the danger of this disease. A coordinated, regional approach, informed by a multi-state council of experts, will help us avoid a major setback with potentially disastrous consequences. I look forward to the day when the facts on the ground allow us to ease our restrictions and move our regional economy forward," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
The council will create this framework using every tool available to accomplish the goal of easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread - including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing - and will rely on the best available scientific, statistical, social and economic information to manage and evaluate those tools.
"One thing that's undeniable is that this virus does not stop at the border of any county, state, or country, but the impact is the same when it comes to our respective economies and healthcare systems. Working as a regional coalition to make the right decisions will lead to the best public health results for all of our residents. We must solve these problems together," Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.
On Monday during a White House briefing, President Donald Trump declared he has the absolute authority to say when the country will reopen. Northeast governors don't think that should be the case.
"States are taking the lead as we fight to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives. I'm proud of the steps we've taken, and I'm constantly thinking about what it will take to safely reopen our economy. But we know that this virus does not recognize borders, and it's clear we need a strong, coordinated regional approach to avoid a second wave of this disease," Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf noted during press conference to announced the multi-state council despite what President Donald Trump has said, it should be each state's decision on when to restart since the states made the initial decision on when to shut down.