Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that the White House will be “fading out” federal social distancing guidelines as the US looks towards reopening the economy.
The initial “30 days to slow the spread” campaign was launched at the beginning of April and aimed to keep the US hospital system from being overburdened by a potential flood of COVID-19 patients.
Now, the 30-day period is set to expire on April 30th, and Trump expressed no intention of extending the guidelines any further. Many state governors have opted to extend their own shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders, however.
Trump told reporters on Wednesday that federal guidelines will be allowed to expire “because now the governors are doing it.”
Coronavirus task force leader Mike Pence clarified that existing social distancing guidelines will be included in the White House’s multi-phase blueprint to reopen the economy.
“Every state in America has embraced those guidelines at a minimum, or even done more, and now our focus is working with states,” Pence said. “The current guidelines, I think you can say, are very much incorporated in the guidance that we’re giving states to open up America again.”
Several states, including Georgia, Alaska, Tenessee, and West Virginia have moved to begin lifting restrictions this week. Others, such as Michigan, Arizona, and Louisiana are planning to extend their stay-at-home orders.
California Governor Gavin Newsom is moving to clamp down the state even further. According to reports, Newsom will issue an order closing down the state’s parks and beaches effective Friday.