Napolitano warns Governors can NOT take away civil liberties - Trump warned of small-business revolt if economy not opened soonby Rob Crilly | April 13, 2020 02:08 PM
President Trump was warned that small businesses may take economic recovery into their own hands by going back to work before federal or statewide coronavirus closures are lifted if his political base revolts.
With scientific advisers warning that easing social distancing measures risks a surge in disease, Trump faces an agonizing decision about when and how to get America back to work.
A chorus of voices has told the president that the closures are having a disproportionate effect on small-business owners and his political base, according to a number of advisers and former officials.
Patience is running out.
This Pandemic is likely to exceed the Great Recession in number of bankruptcies. “People are fine sitting at home this month, but they are going to start reopening stuff whether or not their governor says it’s OK,” said a former White House official briefed on the discussions. “There’s going to be a breaking point, and the president needs to get ahead of this and start issuing sound guidance.”
Influential voices have taken up the call. At the end of last week, radio host Rush Limbaugh endorsed a caller who said people should just ignore the guidance and go back.
“Well, I love the idea — if all of a sudden on Monday, people say, 'Screw this,' and went back to work. For that to happen, the people that owned the business would have to open ’em up,” he said.
The president is understood to be keen to see the economy opening up by May 1, when his social distancing guidelines expire. That target is endorsed by several prominent allies who say he is too beholden to his scientific advisers.
As Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted: “At some point, the president is going to have to look at Drs Fauci and Birx and say, we're opening on May 1. Give me your best guidance on protocols, but we cannot deny our people their basic freedoms any longer.”
Trump is due on Tuesday to announce a panel of economists, business leaders, governors, and others who he believes can plot a course to economic recovery. And any such opening is likely to include limited regional decisions taken by governors regardless of the federal decisions.
For the time being, figures such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s most senior infectious disease scientist, are advocating a cautious approach, with openings possible next month once testing and surveillance measures ramp up.
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