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“It is the President of the United States who decides!” Donald Trump, by his determination to return to him the order to end isolation measures in the United States, appears ready to engage in a confrontation with state governors, which could be fated to spread a state of confusion among Americans.
With the first encouraging signs emerging in the battle against Covid-19 by stabilizing the frequency of new infections, the debate quickly shifted to reach means of “resuming” social activity and the economy while continuing to monitor the epidemic in anticipation of the return of its outbreak.
The Republican billionaire, who has remained silent about the date of the lifting of the closure in his mind, is supposed to announce, in principle, on Tuesday, the formation of a committee to reopen our country, as he calls it.
While he affirmed that there would be neither his daughter Ivanka nor his son-in-law Jared Kushner, the outlines of this new body and its goals are still shrouded in mystery.
For the time being, he is stirring his desire to make all decisions from the White House after charging the air for weeks, affirming the responsibility of state governors for failing to confront the epidemic.
“When someone is president of the United States, he has full power (…) the rulers know that,” he said Monday evening during a press conference in which he spoke in a hostile tone.
And New York Governor Andrew Como replied to him on Tuesday morning through CNN: “The president’s position is simply surprising. This is not what the law stipulates. This is not what the constitution stipulates. We have no king, we have a president.”
Trump responded to the tension, “Como calls every day, not even every hour, to demand everything. … I have done everything for him, and for others, and now it seems that he wants his independence! It will not happen like this!”
The president can certainly determine the destination and route, but the federal system gives rulers of the 50 states the power to take or lift mandatory closures. So far, Trump has only made recommendations for social exclusion until the end of April.
– “No play button” –
“The president has no legal authority to override state isolation decisions or reopen schools and small businesses. … There is no constitutional article granting him such authority,” Stephen Vladick, a law professor at the University of Texas, said on Twitter.
Several days ago, rulers from the east to the west of the United States consulted together to make coordinated decisions in response to the development of the pandemic; from New York to New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware and Pennsylvania, to California, Oregon and Washington.
Desiring to defend his powers, Andrew Como was more clear about the weight he would give to a possible Trump order.
“If he orders me to end the closure in a way that would jeopardize public health in my state, I will not implement it,” he said, indicating that this could develop into a court battle that the United States cannot afford in the current circumstances.
All the rulers are working on preparing the transition period plans, starting with a drastic increase in the number of HIV testing tests, to specific isolation measures for those over 65 years of age, and gradually reopening some stores and companies.
Most of them never fail to recall the difficult fact that it is accepted that the emerging coronavirus will not disappear after the isolation measures have been eased. Large sectors of the population will have avoided infection and will therefore remain at risk of disease, as long as no effective vaccine is available.
Andrew Como insists that “it will be a phased return. We do not have a play button, and it is not just a bilateral issue,” meaning that all parties are concerned with it.
© 2020 AFP