President Donald Trump met with Colorado Democrat Gov. Jared Polis and North Dakota Gov. James Burgum on Wednesday, demonstrating another bipartisan moment at the White House during the ongoing fight against the coronavirus.
Polis said that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence continued working with the state to help them reach their coronavirus testing goals. He also thanked Sen. Cory Gardner for working with him to import coronavirus tests from South Korea. Thanks to the increases in testing, Polis said, there were 32 free community testing sites across the state, as well as testing in hospitals and health centers.
Polis wore a mask into the meeting at the White House but removed it as he spoke to the president and other government officials.
Polis and Gardner said that Colorado was leading the way in reopening their state in a safe, responsible way.
“Most businesses are open in Colorado. Pretty much everything except for those social businesses,” he said, noting that hair salons, offices, manufacturing, and other businesses were opening up.
“In a safer way, right?” he added. “It’s not the same way it was.”
Polis showed off his new haircut to the president, noting that he and the stylists wore masks.C-SPAN
“It looks good,” Trump replied.
Even some restaurants in the state were opening up, he said, with plans for more to open at the end of the month. More social businesses, such as bars and nightclubs, he said, remained closed.
“People are being responsible,” he said. “It’s that individual responsibility that’s gonna make sure that we can stay on this trajectory.”
Trump noted that skiing tourism in Colorado was a huge part of their economy.
“It’s also one of the reasons that we got a lot of the virus in our state,” Polis said.
He said he was hopeful that ski resorts could reopen in June, as the skiing season in some places in the state went until July 4th.
Trump asked Polis about how his area restaurants were doing with take out and curbside service.
“It doesn’t work for every restaurant, and that’s why they need to be open for in-restaurant dining,” he said, but he noted that some restaurant owners said that it helped them pay the bills during the shutdown.
Polis also thanked Interior Secretary David Benioff, who was at the meeting, for working with state leaders to reopen the national parks in a swift responsible way.
“I hope everybody’s listening. The parks are opening – and rapidly,” Trump said.
Polis clarified that it would still take time for the state to be ready to host out of state tourists.
“The flip side is that we’re not ready to have people from other states and other countries come in,” he said.