Updated Apr 13, 2020 - Health

The committees to reopen America

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images

The drumbeat to turn America's lights back on is approaching a crescendo, even as the virus is in the opening stanza.

The big picture: Preempting President Trump, two groups of states are working on regional plans to lift their lockdowns as conditions permit.

  • The eastern group: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
  • The western group: California, Oregon and Washington.
  • Both groups say they'll use metrics to guide reopening, with more details expected over the coming days.

Why it matters: Trump claimed today that he is the decider on when states reopen. His tweets undermined GOP talking points and are constitutionally dubious.

  • But the underlying truth: States that are in the early stages of the outbreak are relying on his leadership to convince people to stay at home.
  • That includes major swaths of Trump country, and the president's bully pulpit could play a decisive role in ending lockdowns too soon to flatten the curve.

Between the lines: Lessons from New York, which has suffered America's worst outbreak, will form a template for rolling back restrictions in parts of the country with later projected peaks.

  • "The worst is over" in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.
  • That could change if New Yorkers don't keep up their social distancing, he emphasized.
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio noted recent declines in three key metrics: 1) positive tests; 2) patients admitted to the hospital; 3) patients admitted to the ICU.

The bottom line: More than 10,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York alone. It's a very sad day when only 671 recorded deaths is good news.

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