As health officials and more than a few state lawmakers warn that a second COVID-19 wave could soon hit the United States, President Trump has vowed “we’re not going the close the country” if we see a resurgence in the virus.
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility. It's standard. And we're going to put out the fires. We're not going to close the country. We’re going to put out the fires,” Trump told reporters Thursday during a tour of a Ford manufacturing plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan. “Whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’re going to put it out. But we’re not closing our country.”
Should COVID-19 cases surge once again, the question remains as to what the president could (or perhaps more importantly, couldn’t) do from his position at the White House if a second coronavirus wave prompts governors – some of whom have already displayed a heavy hand when it comes to enacting restrictions – to consider another full-on shutdown.
While states have largely begun easing back restrictions and allowing closed businesses to begin reopening, many still have strict rules in place regarding just how “open” they can be. With social distancing measures in place, capacity limits set for most restaurants, stores and gyms, and bans on large gatherings still in effect, much of the country remains shuttered or, at best, limping along with limited function. Some governors have warned that there won’t be a greenlight to return to “normal” until a vaccine can be developed, which could easily take up to a year – if it’s developed at all.
Nearly 39 million people are currently unemployed, most of them thanks to the government’s response to the pandemic.
(Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore)