Governors on both coasts of the U.S. announced that they would join forces to come up with a coordinated reopening at some point, setting the stage for potential conflict with President Donald Trump, who asserted that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to reopen the economy following an unprecedented closure due to COVID-19.
Trump continued those assertions during a Monday afternoon White House briefing, pushing back against reporters’ questions about whether the president or governors have the authority to ease the restrictions. He said “the federal government has absolute power” in that decision-making process if it chooses to exercise it.
Also on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he is partnering with governors from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to create a multi-state council that will work to restore the economy and get people back to work.
Cuomo said 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.