‘Some people say that’s nice, and some people say I shouldn’t be doing that, but we’re going to do it if we see something wrong…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump warned governors during a conference call on Monday that the federal government might intervene if some chose to drag their feet on reopening for political reasons.
The call was part of a recently-launched series of weekly coronavirus check-ins with the governors, signaling a shift in focus away from the health crisis itself and geared more toward the recovery effort.
That includes the economic recovery after the pandemic response led to some of the greatest job losses in U.S. history following a period of equally unprecedented prosperity.
Since issuing federal guidelines during the coronavirus shutdown, Trump has taken a mostly hands-off approach in allowing the individual states to determine the scope and duration of the orders, presumably based on the risk level in their states, and how to implement them.
“The governors are making their decisions … and that’s the way I want it too,” Trump said during the Monday call, according to CBS News.
But increasingly—particularly among some of the more authoritarian, leftist governors—the restrictions have led to protests and other acts of civil disobedience from citizens and business owners who have been devastated financially.
Trump, who is engaged in his own funding standoff with some of the financially-strapped blue states, has speculated that Democrat governors might be politically motivated to extend the shutdowns in order to suppress the economy and sway the November election.
But he said he was ready to take federal action if necessary to ensure the return to normalcy.
“We will step in if we see something going wrong, or if we disagree,” he told the governors. “And some people say that’s nice, and some people say I shouldn’t be doing that, but we’re going to do it if we see something wrong.”
Despite the veiled warning, the president sought to strike a largely supportive and positive tone during the call, mainly emphasizing his eagerness to support during the reopening process.
“If you have any problem, let me know please, but it seems that the governors are largely happy,” he said. “And I think I can say extraordinarily happy with respect to what we’ve done.”
First Lady Melania Trump also joined in the call to promote her new “BeBest initiative, which focuses on “children’s emotional, social and physical health” as many face issues like anxiety and depression.
Trump has pushed for schools to reopen in the fall, with the disease having borne little observable impact on children. Most of the COVID-19 fatalities have occurred in nursing homes or under circumstances where age and pre-existing health conditions made patients more vulnerable.