Donald Trump declared that he was the only person who had the power to begin to restore daily life and lift the quarantine along with social distancing requirements set forth, sparking a fierce and swift reaction from state governors who aren't about to see a second wave of virus infections because people went back to work and normalcy too early.
Where did he say this? Twitter, of course.
Yes, that's the so-called "president" tweeting that he has some mystical power to restart the economy, which is just simply false. Even his favorite impeachment expert Jonathan Turley says he has no such power other than persuasive power. Certainly he has no power to command it to happen.
Some of the nation's governors confirmed Turley's opinion. For example, California, Oregon and Washington State announced the Western States Pact:
While each state is building a state-specific plan, our states have agreed to the following principles as we build out a West Coast framework:
- Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
- Health outcomes and science – not politics - will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.
- Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with it’s local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.
Through quick and decisive action, each of our states has made significant progress in flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19 among the broader public. Now, our public health leaders will focus on four goals that will be critical for controlling the virus in the future.
Over on the Republican side of things, TPM reports that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine isn't going to bow to Trump either:
“I will say this, that going out of this thing is going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than going into it and closing things down,” the governor told the co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
DeWine said governors face a “series of decisions” on the process of allowing businesses to reopen as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country and put physically vulnerable people at major risk of death.
“I think that sometimes we all think we’re going to turn a switch and we’re going to be back to normal, and that’s just not going to happen,” he said. “We’re going to have to slowly do this.”
DeWine joins Republican governors Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker in rejecting Trump's grandiose pronouncements. In fact, six northeastern states' governors have also agreed to work cooperatively to carefully restart economic activity in their states.
Without massive testing, there is no way to return to anything like normal, as Florida's Surgeon General observed, to the chagrin of other officials in the room:
Florida's surgeon general just said Floridians will have to maintain social distancing measures until there's a vaccine.
"This is the new normal," he said.
He acknowledged that a vaccine could be a year away.
Then he was removed from the Cabinet room by @helenaguirrefer.
— Lawrence Mower (@lmower3) April 13, 2020
And here's the video of that:
Donald Trump is about to get a lesson in federalism. He can take his medicine the hard way, or not. I don't really care. Until we have a testing protocol and availability for everyone and can deploy it on a massive scale, there is no normal. The problem is, Trump doesn't want that because he doesn't want the numbers to go up -- it offends his ego too much.
Governors are driving this bus, and Trump better hang on before they run him down.