President Donald Trump has advised against the opening of certain businesses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes as several states are set to start lifting restrictions on their respective "safer at home" mandates in the coming days, though others are hesitant to do so on the advice of health officials.
On a press conference on Wednesday, NBC's White House Correspondent Kelly O'Donnell noted that Trump said that "it's just too soon" to open public-facing businesses, which included bars, beauty parlors and spas. He added that those establishments," can wait a little longer." The comments from the president are at odds with his recent rhetoric, calling for the nation to "reopen" after weeks of self-isolation. They also come as a number of small protests have broken out across the country with people demanding things go back to normal, despite the global pandemic.
NEWS: The president says "its just too soon" to open bars, spas, beauty parlors, tattoo parlors...they can wait a little longer"— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) April 22, 2020
On Friday, Trump had unveiled a three-tier plan for states to reopen, based largely on declining cases as well as hospital capacity. However, he stressed that each governor will be responsible for their directives. "Governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that needs the diverse circumstances of their own states," he said at the time. "Every state is very different. If they need to remain closed, we will allow them to do that, and if they believe it is time to reopen, we will provide them the freedom and guidance to accomplish that task and very, very quickly."
Trump's comments also come after the state of Georgia had announced that several businesses that have been shuttered for the past several weeks will be allowed to open on Monday. The state's governor, Brian Kemp, outlined some of the provisions, though didn't offer much in the way of specifics. "Minimum basic operations includes, but is not limited to, screening workers for fever and respiratory illness, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing gloves and masks if appropriate, separating work spaces by at least six feet, and teleworking where at all possible, and implementing staggered shifts," Kemp said. Johns Hopkins University has reported that, as of Wednesday, there have been 837,947 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. This makes up just under a third of the more than 2.6 million cases reported around the globe.