Governors of a few states on the East and West coasts announced plans to reopen their states from coronavirus shutdowns at the weekend, President Trump declared he has “total authority.”
“When somebody, the President of the United States has the authority, that authority is total!” President Trump said during Monday’s coronavirus task force daily press briefing. “And that’s the way it’s got to to be. It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.”
The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts announced early Monday they would begin planning strategies to reopen those states. Soon after, the state leaders of California, Washington, and Oregon followed suit.
The population of those states account for about 33% of the nation’s population.
“You have a couple bands of Democratic governors, but they will agree to it,” President Trump added. “They will agree to it. But the authority of the President of the United States, having to do with the subject we are talking about, is total.”
He added: “They cannot do anything without approval of the President of the United States.“
Earlier Monday, President Trump Tweeted it will not be “the Governors decision to open up the states.”
Vice President Mike Pence clarified the President’s comments by saying: “I support the President’s leadership under the national emergency declaration that he signed.“
The declaration allows the President to provide $50-B in federal resources to help fight against coronavirus.
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