President Donald Trump said Tuesday at the White House that he would not pressure governors to reopen their states during the coronavirus crisis if they were not ready.
“They know when it’s time to open and we don’t want to put pressure on anybody. I’m not putting any pressure on the governor to open,” Trump said.
The president cited New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as an example, currently the focus of the majority of coronavirus cases in the United States.
Cuomo announced his own task force for reopening the New York City metro area, including Democrat governors from several surrounding states. Trump indicated that he would not interfere.
“I want him to take his time, do it right, and then open New York,” Trump said.
He said several governors were already prepared to reopen their states, but others were not.
“We’ll open up in beautiful little pieces as it comes along,” Trump said.
The president said that nearly 20 states were ready to open, some of which could be ready before May 1st.
“Actually there are over 20 that are in extremely good shape, and we think we’re going to be able to get them open fairly quickly, and others will follow,” Trump said.
Trump said there would be federal guidelines and recommendations for reopening a state that governors would be expected to follow.
“We’re going to work with the governors. The governors are going to do a good job, and if they don’t do a good job, we’re going to come down on them very hard,” he said. “We’ll have no other choice.”