Donald Trump says individual governors will decide on when to reopen economy


President Donald Trump on Tuesday abandoned his push for ‘total authority’ to reopen the country and said he would leave the decision in the hands of the individual governors of each state. 

‘I will be speaking to all 50 governors very shortly. And I will then be authorizing each individual governor of each individual state to implement a reopening, very powerful reopening plan of their estate in a time in a manner which is most appropriate,’ Trump said at his daily White House press briefing.

‘The governors are responsible, they have to take charge and do a great job,’ he said, a remarkable change from his angry tone on Monday, when he proclaimed he alone has the authority to reopen the economy, which is suffering in the wake of the coronavirus.

Constitutional scholars and governors disagreed and pointed to the 10th amendment of the Constitution, which gives states precedent over the federal government. 

Trump said some states could reopen before May 1 – which is the date his ’30 Days to Slow the Spread’ of the coronavirus ends. 

‘The day must be close because certain states as you know are in much different condition. It’s going to be very, very close. Maybe even before the date of May 1st,’ he said. 

President Donald Trump abandoned his push for ‘total authority’ to reopen the country and said he would leave the decision in the hands of the individual governors of each state

It was a surrender for the president, who earlier in the day  called any governor who resisted his ‘total authority’ as president a mutineer and threatened to withhold coronavirus aid from them if they didn’t heed his call to reopen the country.

‘Tell the Democrat Governors that “Mutiny On The Bounty” was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!,’ he tweeted.

The president was defending his claim that he has authority to reopen states to business in the wake of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus, which goes against the 10th amendment of the constitution.

Several governors – led by New York’s Andrew Cuomo – blasted Trump. 

Cuomo called the president ‘schizophrenic’ and threatened to take him to court over the matter as a constitutional crisis began to brew. 

The governor claimed he didn’t want to fight with the president – despite Trump ‘spoiling’ for one. Cuomo went on to make the point he didn’t need to fight because the constitution was on the side of the states and not the federal government.

‘The president is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue,’ Cuomo said at his daily press briefing in New York, referring to President Trump’s mutiny tweet.

‘Sometimes it takes more strength frankly to walk away from a fight than engage. The president will have no fight with me. I will not engage,’ he said.

The governor also spent several minutes lecturing on how the constitution favors states, essentially arguing with Trump’s point via a talk on early American history.

‘This is basic federalism, the role of states and the role of the federal government. It is important to get this right. The founding fathers understood and I remembered today that the balance between the state and the federal, the magnificent balance articulated in the constitution is the essence of our democracy. We don’t have a king in this country. We didn’t want a king, so we have a constitution and we elect the president. The states, the colonies formed the federal government. The federal government did not form the states,’ he said.

He went on to quote Alexander Hamilton, the first treasury secretary who was one of the framers of the Constitution. Hamilton’s Federalist Papers have been used by courts to determine the intentions of the founding fathers.  

‘Hamilton, who in many ways was representative of this discussion of the balance of power, state governments possess inherent advantages, and will forever preclude the possibility of federal encroachment on the states. The federal head is repugnant to every rule of political calculations. Strong language but that was a premise,’ Cuomo said.  

Donald Trump called any governor who resisted his 'total authority' as president a mutineer

Donald Trump called any governor who resisted his ‘total authority’ as president a mutineer

But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wouldn't fight with the president

But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wouldn’t fight with the president

Cuomo added he was willing to talk to Trump at any time. 

‘I’ve always had an open line of communication with him. At different times in the past, when he hasn’t been happy with me and I haven’t been throwing bouquets to him, we’ve always communicated. I’m sure we will communicate now,’ he said. 

Mutiny on the Bounty 

The film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ tells a fictionalized version of the real-life mutiny led by Fletcher Christian against William Bligh, captain of the HMAV Bounty, in 1789.

The 1962 version starred Marlon Brando as Christian and Trevor Howard as Bligh, setting up Brando as the hero to Howard’s evil, sadistic Bligh.

Bligh is a captain who commands through fear, putting his crew on limited rations and with holding water to complete their mission. But it is Bligh who steals food and taunts Christian, who is the first lieutenant.

The breaking point comes when Christian gives extra water to a sick crew member in violation of Bligh’s orders. Bligh informs Christian he will hang when they reach port.

The crew rebels and overcomes Bligh but Christian is merciful, putting Bligh and his associates in a boat and giving them supplies so they can make it back to Britain.

Bligh does make it back where he demands the mutineers be brought back and tried. 

 Meanwhile, Christian and the crew have found an island to live on but Christian decides he must do the right thing and return to Britain to testify against Bligh. The crew stops him by setting the ship on fire. Christian is killed trying to put out the flames.

Meanwhile, a trio of lawmakers introduced a resolution to debunk Trump’s claim to power.

The simple one-sentence resolution states: ‘The House of Representatives affirms that when someone is the president of the United States, their authority is not total.’

It was introduced by Democratic lawmakers Tom Malinowski of New Jersey and Dean Phillips of Michigan along with Republican-turned-Independent Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan.

The entire House of Representatives would have to approve it.  

Trump took to Twitter after Cuomo went on the morning shows to slam the president’s interpretation of the balance of power between the state and federal government. 

‘Cuomo’s been calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals, beds, ventilators, etc. I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!,’ the president wrote. 

The standoff began during a heated press conference inside the White House on Monday evening, when Trump claimed that his office holds ‘absolute power’ over the shutdowns prompted by the novel coronavirus outbreak – hours after Cuomo and eight other Democratic governors unveiled a pact to work together to co-ordinate the reopenings of their respective states.

‘When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,’ Trump told reporters in response to the announcement, declining to specify where his authority to overrule states resides when pressed by DailyMail.com. Instead, he reiterated: ‘The federal government has absolute power. 

But Cuomo pointed out Trump left it up to the states to buy their own medical supplies and to issue stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus crisis, arguing the president can’t accede that responsibility to the states and then contend he is an absolute authority.

‘This is a 180. I have total authority. I’m going to tell the states what to do. So it makes no sense. It is schizophrenic,’ Cuomo said Tuesday morning on CNN’s ‘New Day.’ 

10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. 

The New York governor made it clear he would not obey any such order from Trump to reopen his state, adding he would take the matter to the courts to let them rule on it.

‘If he ordered me to reopen in a way that would endanger the public health of the people of my state, I wouldn’t do it. And we would have a constitutional challenge between the state and the federal government and that would go into the courts, and that would be the worst possible thing he could do at this moment would be to act dictatorial and to act in a partisan divisive way,’ Cuomo said.

The governor warned Trump could create a ‘constitutional crisis.’

‘The only way this situation gets worse is if the president creates a constitutional crisis. If he says to me, I declare it open, and that is a public health risk or it’s reckless with the welfare of the people of my state, I will oppose it. And then we will have a constitutional crisis like you haven’t seen in decades,’ Cuomo said on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’

‘I just hope he gets control of what he was saying last night and he doesn’t go down that road,’ he added. 

Clark Gable played Fletcher Christian in the 1935 version of 'Mutiny on the Bounty'

Clark Gable played Fletcher Christian in the 1935 version of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’

Marlon Brando as Christian and Trevor Howard as Bligh in the 1962 film version of 'Mutiny on the Bounty'

Marlon Brando as Christian and Trevor Howard as Bligh in the 1962 film version of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called President Donald Trump 'schizophrenic' for claiming he has 'total authority' over the states to reopen the United States

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called President Donald Trump ‘schizophrenic’ for claiming he has ‘total authority’ over the states to reopen the United States

Andrew Cuomo said he will take President Donald Trump to court if he orders him to reopen New York

Andrew Cuomo said he will take President Donald Trump to court if he orders him to reopen New York 

Trump has clashed with many of the nation’s governors, who have pleaded with the federal government for masks, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and other supplies to battle the coronavirus.

Massachusetts’ Republican governor joins Cuomo’s ‘Covid Corridor Council’ after Trump called it a ‘band of Democrats’ 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

 Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has joined a council of northeast Democrats who are coordinating on when to end stay-home orders to begin to reopen their economies – undercutting a claim by President Trump that it is a partisan effort.

The move comes as governors join to form regional pacts to game out when best to begin the process of sending people back to work and lifting orders that have sequestered millions of Americans in their homes.

President Trump wrote off the effort Monday in a press conference where he declared ‘total’ authority to determine when to reopen the country. He also dismissed the regional blocks as a partisan effort.

‘You have a couple of bands of Democrat governors but they will agree to it,’ Trump predicted. 

 

With Baker’s decision to join, the northeast bloc also has a prominent moderate Republican. On Tuesday Maryland and Vermont, which both have Republican governors, had not joined.

Baker announced the move in a statement released by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Cuomo, whose state leads the globe in coronavirus cases and is also the engine of the Northeast economy, is leading the effort. 

‘The Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to participating in discussions with neighboring states and experts regarding the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Baker said. Massachusetts also remains focused on efforts to expand testing, ensure hospital capacity and provide the necessary PPE to those on the front lines to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,’ he said regarding protective hospital gear, the Boston Globe reported.

Democratic-led states from Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are participating.

 On the West Coast, governors Gavin Newsom of California, Jay Inslee of Washington and Kate Brown of Oregon unveiled their own scheme just after the north-east version.

‘California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business,’ the governors said in a joint statements.

The nine states combined account for more than 100 million people, almost a third of its population.     

He also has pushed responsibility on them.

‘I want the governors to be running things,’ he said earlier this month.

But Trump, who was born in New York and made his name there, has spoken warmly of his relationship with Cuomo, whom he has called a friend. The president’s new claim of power, however, has changed the tone between them.

Cuomo was clear Tuesday morning on where he stood. 

‘Keep the politics out of it,’ he advised Trump during his CNN appearance.

Cuomo acknowledged there is an election coming up in November but said the current health pandemic – over 588,000 infected by the coronavirus in the United States with more than 23,000 deaths – supersedes that. 

‘I know he’s running for re-election. I know this is a political year. I know it is a hyperpartisan environment. I know it is red versus blue. Not anymore. Not when it comes to this. This is red, white and blue. I have 10,000 deaths in my state. This virus didn’t kill Democrats or Republicans. It killed Americans. And it killed New Yorkers. And I’m not going to go down a political road,’ Cuomo said.   

Cuomo refuted the president’s claim to power, pointing out the constitution lays out the balance of power between the state and federal governments.

‘It says the federal government does not have absolute power,’ Cuomo said on CNN Tuesday morning. ‘It says the exact opposite that the president said. It says that would be a king. We would have had King George Washington and we didn’t have King George Washington. We don’t have King Trump. We have President Trump. And, remember, the colonies created the federal government. The states created the federal government, not the other way around. We have a tenth amendment that is explicit, certain responsibilities are state responsibilities.’

Cuomo said the situation would be funny if the country weren’t in the middle of a health crisis.

‘To hear a Republican stand up there, by the way, and argue big government and total authority of the federal government is so amusing,’ he said on MSNBC.

‘If it wasn’t so serious, it could be funny, it could be a comedy skit. It’s frightening. It’s frightening. This is the last place we should be, this crazy politics, this absurd positioning when we’re talking about life and death. And we really have the toughest governmental problem we’ve ever faced right in front of us, and we have to deal with this absurdity,’ he added.

The president, when pressed by reporters at the White House on Monday, could not say how he had the ‘total authority’ he claimed to hold or who told him he had such power.

‘I’ll put it very simply. The president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots,’ Trump said.  

He then took aim at the governors: ‘They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.’

Asked what provisions of the Constitution gave him the power to override the states Trump replied: ‘Numerous provisions.’

But he did not name any. ‘When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,’ Trump said.

He also suggested any governor who defied his order would pay a political price.

‘If some states refuse to open, I would like to see that person run for election,’ he said.

But Cuomo was quick to take to the airwaves to refute Trump and slammed the president for what he perceived to be an ‘abrogation of the Constitution’.

‘Mr Trump offered no legal or constitutional basis to back up his claim to exclusive authority to reopen society,’ Cuomo told MSNBC on Monday evening.

In his own heated press briefing, the president launched a furious attack on the media and screened a White House-produced video to reporters claiming he took early action against the virus. 

The show reel claimed that the ‘media minimized the risk from the start’, and showed reporters seemingly agreeing with Trump and governors praising the White House response. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rebuked President Trump's claims that he has blanket authority to order a reopening of the country and cease stay-at-home orders, saying Monday night that last time he checked the US had 'a constitution...not a king'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rebuked President Trump’s claims that he has blanket authority to order a reopening of the country and cease stay-at-home orders, saying Monday night that last time he checked the US had ‘a constitution…not a king’

President Trump during the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing yesterday. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Trump did not have 'total authority' to relieve the virus shutdowns

President Trump during the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing yesterday. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Trump did not have ‘total authority’ to relieve the virus shutdowns 

In his response to Trump’s claims of absolute power to ease the lockdowns, Cuomo added: ‘Why he [Trump] would even go there, I have no idea.

‘The constitution says we don’t have a king. To say I have total authority over the country because I’m the president, it’s absolute, that is a king. We didn’t have a king, we didn’t have king George Washington, we had President George Washington.’

Cuomo then pointed out that it was in fact state governors who imposed a variety of stay-home orders under their state constitutions in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, not the federal government.

Questioning the logic behind Trump’s sudden assertion that he’ll have the final say on any reopenings, Cuomo continued: ‘Why [Trump] would want to say that after he initially did the ‘closing down of the government’ – he never did the close down. He wants to say the travel ban with China was a close down, it wasn’t — it was a travel ban with China. 

‘The close down was left to the governors to do individually state by state. Now the reopen should be total authority? That makes no sense.’ 

Trump speaking about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Monday

Trump speaking about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Monday

Donald Trump launches furious attack on the media for story criticizing him with highlights reel of governors praising him

President Trump showed reporters a White House-produced video during Monday’s briefing in an attempt to shame the New York Times for critical coverage of his coronavirus response. 

The video, which the president said was produced by Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, showed – in the White House’s words – that the ‘media minimized the risk from the start,’ but Trump took early action.

One  

The White House team found audio of New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman saying that Trump’s China travel ban was ‘probably effective’ because it ‘did take a pretty aggressive measure against the spread of the virus’. 

She tweeted later that he had cut off her contribution to the New York Times’ podcast The Daily, in which she finished by calling it his ‘mission accomplished moment,’ a reference to George W. Bush’s infamous premature declaration of victory in Iraq.

Much of the video was taken straight from an episode of Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on March 26 which called Trump’s critics a ‘mob.’ 

The video also featured a number of governors, including Democrats Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo, praising the Trump administration’s leadership on the pandemic.

‘So the story in the New York Times is a total fake, it’s a fake newspaper and they write fake stories. And someday, hopefully in five years when I’m not here, those papers are all going out of business because nobody’s going to read them’, Trump told the reporters in the room. 

The story, written by Haberman and five of her colleagues, detailed the ‘extent of his halting response’ to the threat.

The president said he wanted to share the presentation amid the pandemic ‘because we’re getting fake news and I’d like to have it corrected’. 

‘They’re saying what a great job we’re doing’, he said of the governors’ praises.

‘And the reason they did was to keep you honest,’ Trump added. 

ABC News’ Jonathan Karl told Trump he had never seen what looked to be a ‘campaign’ style video played in the White House briefing room. 

The Hatch Act prohibits the president from actively campaigning at the White House. 

Cuomo issued the president a parting shot, warning him that if he takes any measures that could potentially endanger the lives of New Yorkers – such as enforcing premature reopenings – then Cuomo will seek legal action. 

‘If he tried an edict from the White House that put the people of the state of New York in jeopardy or violated what I thought was in their best interest, from a public health point of view, we would just be off to a lawsuit,’ he said.

‘And that’s the only way this really horrendous situation could get worse, is if you now see a war between the federal government and the states.’ 

Later, the governor phoned into CNN to double-down on his admonishment of Trump, and what he conceived to be a blatant example of the president disregarding the 10th amendment.

‘I don’t agree with the president’s analysis…we don’t have a king – we have an elected president,’ the New York governor reaffirmed. 

‘That’s what our founding fathers said when they wrote the constitution. And the Constitution says the powers not specifically listed for the federal government are reserved for the states.’

Earlier Monday, six governors from states on east coast and three on the west coast announced their own pacts to come up with a framework on how and when to reopen.

All nine governors are Democrats and include Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York – both of whom have seen their ratings soar during their handling of the crisis.

Pointedly, the governors on both coasts said that ‘public health’ was their leading priority. 

But they put themselves on a collision course with Trump, who hyped his proclamation that he would decide on Twitter, after saying for days it would soon become time to ‘reopen’ the U.S. economy. 

The president’s emphatic statement came as it was revealed his task force on the vital matter will include cabinet members, his daughter and his son-in-law.

‘A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!’ 

The task force was expected to include Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared, who has taken a key coronavirus response role, fielding calls from hot-spots seeking protective gear and trying to line up deliveries.

But Trump said the two will not be a part of the group. 

Both Ivanka Trump and Kushner have appeared with the president at separate White House coronavirus events – Kushner at a White House briefing and Ivanka Trump at a small business meeting in the Roosevelt Room. 

The team will be headed by Trump’s new chief of staff Mark Meadows, who previously headed the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Fox News reported.

Also serving with be Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao – who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Other cabinet members to serve include Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, White House advisers Larry Kudlow, Peter Navarro – who penned memos warning of the impact of the coronavirus, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, along with other officials. 

'A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!' President Trump tweeted about the decision to reopen the country

‘A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!’ President Trump tweeted about the decision to reopen the country

Trump attacked the media and added confusion to how the decision to reopen would ultimately be made with a pair of tweets Monday. 

‘For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government,’ Trump wrote.

‘Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect…It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!’ he wrote.

It is state governors who issued the stay-at-home orders that took effect across the country. 

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence issued ‘guidelines’ but the administration and health officials have provided considerable discussion and feedback to state officials.

Trump has previously noted on shut-down orders that it is governors who have imposed them, and he deferred to a group of GOP governors, many in rural states, who held back from issuing stay-home orders during as the coronavirus spread.

But on Monday his sudden volte-face to taking control himself threatened to become a source of confusion and possible constitutional clash. 

Jared Kusner

Ivanka Trump

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner have advised him during the coronavirus pandemic

In Albany, New York, Cuomo convened a virtual press conference with five governors of what he called the ‘Covid corridor’ – the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island which are joined by the I-95 freeway and Amtrak’s Acela corridor and form New York City’s vast economic hinterland.

Massachusetts and Maryland, which both also sit along the I-95 but are not yet part of the council, have Republican governors – although both men have contradicted Trump’s position and said reopening is a matter for them.

The six Democratic governors revealed they were creating the first multi-state database in order to share information about the virus and help come up with reopening plan that would happen ‘within weeks’.  

A health official, economic official and the governor’s chief of staff from each state will work on the plan.

The governors gushed over one another and Cuomo’s leadership both of New York and of the country throughout the pandemic. 

Cuomo, when asked about the president’s remarks, challenged him to produce a plan and said wryly that it was ‘interesting’ that the federal government shrugged the responsibility of shutting down the economy at the start of the crisis but wanted to be the authority to reopen it. 

Trump pointing towards a multimedia presentation created by the White House on Monday to defend the president's response to the coronavirus outbreak as he stands beside Vice President Mike Pence

Trump pointing towards a multimedia presentation created by the White House on Monday to defend the president’s response to the coronavirus outbreak as he stands beside Vice President Mike Pence

The New York governor said: ‘He [Trump] left it to the states to close down and that was a state by state decision, without any guidance really. He took the position that it was a state’s decision and that the states were responsible for purchasing supplies. 

‘That was the model of management for this disaster emergency. If they want to change the model, they can change the model. He’s the President of the United States. He’s the federal government. 

‘Let him change the model. But change the model and explain it,’ he said. 

THE CORONAVIRUS COUNCILS 

Cuomo’s ‘covid corridor’ 

NEW YORK 

NEW JERSEY 

CONNECTICUT 

PENNSYLVANIA 

RHODE ISLAND 

DELAWARE 

Newson’s west coast pact

CALIFORNIA

OREGON

WASHINGTON 

He went on to challenge Trump by listing all of the things he would have to consider and come up with answers for if he wanted to implement a reopening plan for all 50 states. 

‘Are you going to say when each state will open and should open? Are you going to set a formula that says when this jurisdiction has this infection rate it can reopen? This is what can be on public transit, this is what can be on the roads. 

‘Anyone that is on the roads has to follow these precautions..

‘Testing. States don’t have the capacity to test. It is not as simple as saying, ‘states should.’ They can’t without the federal government. 

‘You want to change the management model? You can do it as president. But what’s the model? Let’s learn from the past. This was not smooth sailing, let’s be honest,’ he said.  

Later, when asked about whether he found Trump’s remarks frustrating, Cuomo said: ‘It’s not about an emotion. 

‘I just want clarity. It is an interesting construct that it wasn’t the fed responsibility to close the economy but it is to open the economy,’ he said. 

Gina Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, said: ‘Throughout the crisis, the governors are the ones who have been showing great leadership and taking action. 

‘I think it’s only appropriate that we take leadership now.’ 

Governor John Carney of Delaware said thanked Cuomo for his leadership ‘on a day to day basis under very difficult circumstances across the country’.  

Cuomo was joined on a televised conference call by the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island where they revealed they were creating the first multi-state database in order to share information about the virus and help come up with reopening plan that would happen 'within weeks'.

Cuomo was joined on a televised conference call by the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island where they revealed they were creating the first multi-state database in order to share information about the virus and help come up with reopening plan that would happen ‘within weeks’.

Dialing in for the launch: The governors of all six states took part in the briefing, with Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania representing the largest economies in the group

Dialing in for the launch: The governors of all six states took part in the briefing, with Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania representing the largest economies in the group

Dialing in for the launch: The governors of all six states took part in the briefing, with Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania representing the largest economies in the group

While deaths continue to rise in New York, the new death toll across the state is 10,056 – it is rising at a slower rate. On Sunday, there were 671 new deaths as opposed to more than 700, which was the figure over the last few days. 

The number of new cases across the state rose by another 6,129 to 195,031. 

There were 18,825 new hospitalizations on April 12 which was an increase of more than 100 from the previous day but when taken as a three-day average, shows the curve flattening.  

‘I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart and we can start on the path to normalcy and we can have a plan when you start to see some businesses reopening understanding the balance.

‘We have to understand on the reopening, as much as we have this emotion that we want it to happen and that we can’t take this anymore, it is a delicate balance,’ Cuomo said.    

On the West Coast, governors Newsom, Jay Inslee of Washington and Kate Brown of Oregon unveiled their own scheme just after the north-east version.

A homeless man carrying cardboard and bags as he crosses the almost deserted Times Square yesterday

A homeless man carrying cardboard and bags as he crosses the almost deserted Times Square yesterday

An empty street in a mostly desolate Times Square during the virus lockdown yesterday

An empty street in a mostly desolate Times Square during the virus lockdown yesterday

‘California, Oregon and Washington have agreed to work together on a shared approach for reopening our economies – one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business,’ the governors said in a joint statements.

The nine states combined account for more than 98 million people, close to 30 per cent of the population of the U.S., and more than 30 per cent of GDP. 

Trump also launched an attack on the media during the Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Monday.

He showed reporters a White House-produced video claiming the ‘media minimized the risk from the start’, whereas Trump took early action. 

The White House team found audio of New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman saying that Trump’s travel ban o foreign nationals arriving from China was ‘probably effective’ because it ‘did take a pretty aggressive measure against the spread of the virus’. 

The video also featured a number of governors, including Democrats Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo, praising the Trump administration’s leadership on the pandemic.

‘So the story in the New York Times is a total fake, it’s a fake newspaper and they write fake stories. And someday, hopefully in five years when I’m not here, those papers are all going out of business because nobody’s going to read them,’ Trump told the reporters in the room. 

Small businesses have been shuttered during the coronavirus epidemic in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn

Small businesses have been shuttered during the coronavirus epidemic in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn

The story, written by Haberman and five of her colleagues, detailed the ‘extent of his halting response’ to the threat. 

The president said he wanted to share this presentation amid the pandemic ‘because we’re getting fake news and I’d like to have it corrected.’ 

‘They’re saying what a great job we’re doing,’ he said of the governors’ praises. ‘And the reason they did was to keep you honest,’ Trump added. 

The briefing began with Dr. Anthony Fauci coming to the podium to explain that he used a poor choice of words when he said that earlier mitigation would have saved lives. 

Fauci had appeared on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday and said the federal government ‘could have saved more lives’ if social distancing measures would have been put in place sooner.

‘Obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier you could’ve saved lives, obviously,’ Fauci said.

During the interview on Sunday, Fauci mentioned being met with ‘pushback’ for his recommendations, but revised his wording on Monday. 

‘That was the wrong choice of words’, he told the journalists in the room. 

Trump denied he intended to fire Fauci when he retweeted a ‘#firefauci’ tweet. ‘I’m not firing him, I think he’s a wonderful guy,’ Trump said.

WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE? CAN TRUMP TELL THE GOVERNORS TO OPEN UP ALL BY HIMSELF? 

Donald Trump is putting himself on a collision course with governors by insisting that he can reopen the economy single-handed.

He is also inserting himself into some of the oldest powers of the states and one of the areas of the constitution which has been litigated many times in the Supreme Court, rarely coming to the position he is advocating.

Trump has already justified not issuing a nationwide stay-at-home order by saying it’s the ‘constitution’ which gives that powers to governors.

He did not say explicitly how, but the Tenth Amendment is where states derive their key powers from in times of public health emergency.

It says: ‘The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.’

That means broadly that anything not spelled out in the constitution as being a federal government power is a state power.

Additionally, each of the 13 states incorporated ‘common law’ into their constitutions when they declared independence. 

Common law is the long-held conventions which give sweeping ‘police powers’ – the power to guarantee people are safe and healthy – to deal with public health emergencies to the states. 

At the time, locking people down for quarantine was hardly unusual; after the Revolutionary War yellow fever broke out in Philadelphia.  

The Tenth Amendment was also uncontroversial, establishing that the states were governments in their own rights.

Chief Justice John Marshall used a ruling on interstate commerce in 1824 to make clear that ‘police powers’ were for the states alone.

Since then, the Supreme Court has ruled that those powers are sweeping when it comes to public health, including making compulsory vaccination constitutional.

Trump is unlikely to be able to simply over-rule governors and tell them to open up the economy if they rule it is unsafe. Any governor he over-ruled could date him into a Supreme Court showdown, citing the Tenth Amendment being upheld 

But he – or the federal government more widely – can challenge whether a quarantine is really necessary, and ultimately he could try to use federal funding to leverage how governors behave. 

  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk