Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) revealed Monday he is evaluating a possible run for the White House after President Donald Trump said he has “total” authority over when states will end lockdowns meant to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
Amash, who departed the Republican Party over the summer and supported the impeachment of President Trump, said: “Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option.”
Americans who believe in limited government deserve another option. https://t.co/c7P2vOTyOe
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 13, 2020
Later, after a Twitter user hinted at him running for president, Amash replied that he is “looking at it closely this week.”
Thanks. I’m looking at it closely this week.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) April 14, 2020
It is unclear whether the Michigan congressman is considering a bid as an independent or a third-party candidate.
During a Monday briefing by the White House coronavirus task force, President Trump said he will decide when states will re-open, not the governors.
“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that is the way it’s gotta be,” the president told reporters. “And the governors know that.”
“We’re going to write up papers on this, it’s not going to be necessary, because the governors need us one way or the other,” he added. “Because ultimately it comes from the federal government.”
New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that a seven-state regional task force would work together to coordinate the post-COVID-19 reopening of the economy in the northeast. States included states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island.
“Everyone is very anxious to get out of the house, get back to work, get the economy moving,” Cuomo said. He stressed that reopening needed to be “smart” and “in coordination with the other states that are in the area.”
A 21-member task force consisting of members of each state’s governor’s office, a state health board member and an economic development officer, will begin hammering out the plan Tuesday, Cuomo said. He invited other states in the region to join the coalition.
The contagion appears to have peaked, Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
“We’re controlling the spread,” Cuomo said. “The worst can be over, and is over, unless we do something reckless.”
Last month, governors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coordinated to shut down non-essential businesses in the tri-state area.
On the West Coast, Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee announced an agreement on Monday between himself and California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. The pact calls for a “shared vision” for reopening their economies along the Pacific coastline.
The UPI contributed to this report.