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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Monday that the "decision to open up the states" following shutdown measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus lies with him, not governors.

Why it matters: The tweet undermines talking points from both the administration and conservatives on the coronavirus shutdown — and overstates Trump's constitutional authority.

  • It sets up a potential showdown between the president and the states as some in the White House eye May 1 to begin an economic restart.

What he's saying: Trump's tweet claims that a reopening call 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 added.

Reality check: The federal government does not have the power to implement nationwide measures to stop the spread of the virus — or move toward a reopening — though the president has used his daily briefings and social media to influence governors' decisions.

  • Trump advisers told Axios on multiple occasions that the administration's "Slow the Spread" guidelines were intended to put pressure on governors — and that it is ultimately up to the states to determine shelter-in-place rules.
  • John Malcolm, a constitutional law expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told AP earlier this month that Trump's comments on issuing and easing lockdowns "are just advisory."

Go deeper

31 mins ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Live updates: Olympics formally kick off with "sobering" opening ceremony

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway. But this year's largely spectator-less opening ceremony is a "sobering" event focused primarily on the athletes.

The latest: The cauldron in Tokyo has been lit, formally kicking off the Olympic Games. Tennis star Naomi Osaka had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch to light the cauldron.

2 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.