What the Governors Said About Reopening Their Countries After Trump’s Call to Restart the Economy Until Easter

What the Governors Said About Reopening Their Countries After Trump's Call to Restart the Economy Until Easter

Governors from 21 states have ordered residents to stay home so far amid a coronavirus pandemic when President Donald Trump signaled a desire to reopen the country in mid-April.

“I want the country to open and just get ready to celebrate Easter,” Trump said Tuesday at the Fox News town hall at the White House. He then multiplied the idea, describing the April 12 target as a “beautiful timeline.”

As of Thursday, the number of confirmed cases in the US has exceeded 68,000 and at least 994 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The closure, as expected, had taken the economic toll: Jobless claims jumped to 3.3 million, data by the Labor Department showed Thursday, and Congress hurried to pass a record $ 2 trillion package to support all sectors of the economy.

The governor, who has the authority to control their economy to protect public health, seems willing to wait to reopen their country. This is what they say.

“This will take longer than Easter to overcome,” Vermont Governor Phil Scott said on Wednesday when he ordered residents to stay indoors. Vermont is one of three states governed by the Republic to impose permanent advisors at home to residents after Trump has publicly expressed his desire to reopen the economy at Easter. The others are Indiana and West Virginia.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said he was committed to ordering the country to stay home at least until April 7, despite Trump’s signal that he wanted the country, along with other rural areas, to be reopened as soon as possible.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine, who issued home-stay orders for Ohio residents on March 23, said that “protecting people and protecting the economy is not mutually exclusive.”

“Actually, one depends on the other,” he said. “The fact is we save our economy by saving lives first, and we have to do it in that order. When people are dying, when people don’t feel safe, this economy will not come back.”

In Louisiana, which has the fastest coronavirus growth rate in the world, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards said it was hard to see an exact end date. The country’s leaders recently issued orders to stay home until April 13.

“Until we see a horizontal curve and we can see daylight at the end of this tunnel,” Edwards said. “It’s hard for me to pick a date on the calendar and say, ‘On this date, we are sure we will come out on the other side.'”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, has just extended his country’s order to close down non-essential businesses. In a press call with reporters on Wednesday, the governor said Trump’s desire to reopen the economy on Easter set “false hopes.”

“There is no doubt, this will take time,” Walz said. “It will surpass Easter, and there is no point for us to pretend it is not.”

Governor Kate Brown told OregonLive that although he disagreed with what Trump said, his comments portrayed the faces of tradeoff political leaders as they tried to control the COVID-19 outbreak. Brown has ordered Oregon residents to live in unlimited homes.

“I’m not interested in closing down unnecessary businesses and taking jobs if we don’t need to do that,” he said. “The purpose of my executive order is to balance competing demands … Although I disagree with what the president said and how he said it, I think that’s what he was trying to say.”

A local business is closed until a state-approved three-week “stay at home” order is revoked in Detroit, Michigan March 24, 2020. At 12:01 AM Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governor Gretchen Whitmer orders ‘Stay at Home and Stay Safe Order’ to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.
Seth Herald / AFP / Getty Images

Trump also told reporters during a coronavirus task force press briefing earlier this week that schools across the country would be reopened, although he admitted that it was ultimately up to the governor to “make that decision.”

“Governors from various states will have a lot of leeway if we open, and when we open,” the president said. “In many cases, they are open now. But schools will be open.”

But many state leaders from both sides of the aisle have noted that there is a strong possibility that public schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.

Kansas was the first state to end face-to-face classes until the end of the school year. Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, issued the decision again on March 17. State leaders in California and Ohio said they were considering following in Kansas’s footsteps.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said earlier this week that schools would likely be closed until the fall.

“I really think that’s a possibility,” the Democratic governor said. “You only look at Italy and look at Wuhan province, you see the life cycle there and you worry that if people return too soon there will be a second iteration of this virus. So April 20 is the minimum, maybe the school year.”