The committees to reopen America
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.