Doctors say the virus sets the timetable for when the US can reopen. But as the economy staggers, the President has already floated an early date.
Health experts have cautioned that certain areas will be further along than others by the end of the month.
Trump’s economic team has had several meetings with him where they advised that even if the economy doesn’t open up all at once, the administration should at least announce an estimated timeline with guidance for how to transition the economy back to normal, according to CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Jim Acosta and Vivian Salama.
Trump’s (lack of) authority
Yet just as it wasn’t clear that he had the power to shut the country down, it’s not clear he has the power to open it back up — particularly not when it’s local officials and individual businesses and institutions that would bear the risk of relaxing too soon.
Remember: the federal government’s guidelines on closing businesses and restricting gatherings were only ever recommendations, and decisions on how and when to actually reopen the country will lie mostly with governors who enacted mandatory stay-at-home orders.
Public opinion matters
Regardless of any decisions from the White House, Americans will need to feel comfortable returning into public for the economy to actually “reopen.”
The President and officials around the country must answer if they are willing to exchange a return to the routines on which tens of millions of people depend for a likely consequent rise in the rate of infection.
Today’s other number
The US is now reporting more than 454,000 known coronavirus cases and more than 16,000 deaths. Still, there is hope that social distancing is working, health experts say, with models projecting lower numbers of deaths by the time the pandemic subsides.
New York, which is the epicenter of the American coronavirus outbreak, had its lowest daily jump in hospitalizations since the crisis picked up — but Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned the state is just on its “first wave.”
Birx added that the Philadelphia metropolitan area is seeing 1,400 cases per day. Washington has had about 500 new cases per day, and Baltimore has had 200 new cases daily.
The key points:
- Biden leads Trump 53% to 42% among registered voters, roughly steady from CNN’s poll in early March.
- Biden also holds an edge over Trump as more trusted to handle several key issues, including the response to the coronavirus outbreak (52% to 43%), health care (57% to 39%) and helping the middle class (57% to 38%).
- Yet Trump narrowly tops Biden on who would do a better job handling the economy, with 50% saying the President would and 46% saying Biden.
Remember: While the nationwide picture shows Biden starts with an edge among voters generally, national polling cannot address the state-by-state electoral college race which ultimately determines the presidency.
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