White House guidelines indicate rural states could reopen
President Donald Trump late Thursday released guidelines for what he called “Opening Up America Again,” a title similar to his election campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
But Trump made it clear that the decisions to allow businesses to reopen after the coronavirus pandemic peaks will be up to the governors, a policy point very different from his statements a few days ago when he said he had the power to reopen the economy on a national basis.
The guidelines appear to poise rural states — where populations have not been as greatly affected — to reopen first, but those states have urban areas and hotspots of the illness, such as Sioux Falls, S.D., where a Smithfield meat plant has 700 cases of COVID-19 infection associated with it.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said on CNN that she would take the White House guidelines into consideration, but noted that her state has “urban hubs” as well as rural areas, and meat packing plants that need protective equipment so that employees “can continue to do their jobs and feed the nation.”
Kansas and other smaller states have had a hard time getting personal protective equipment, she said, adding that she had put in seven to nine orders to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and did not get any equipment. But she added that had conversations with the White House on Thursday, and expects to have more conversations on Saturday.
–The Hagstrom Report
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