Updated Apr 13, 2020 - Health

Trump claims "authority of the president is total" to reopen states

Pressed on how he will force governors to reopen their state economies during the coronavirus crisis, President Trump said at a press briefing Monday: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total."

Why it matters: It's not totally clear under what authority Trump is talking about, as the 10th Amendment to the Constitution gives states the "police powers" to regulate behavior during a public health crisis.

  • Asked who told him that the president has this authority, Trump responded: "We are going to write up papers on this. It's not going to be necessary because the governors need us one way or the other. Because ultimately it comes with the federal government."

What they're saying: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN Monday evening,
"The President doesn't have total authority. We have a Constitution. We don't have a king."

Go deeper: States form committees to reopen America

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Cuomo's comments.

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