WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday it was his decision when to reopen the U.S. economy, not that of state governors.
“It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The Republican president accused news media of incorrectly saying it was the governors’ decision.
While federal health officials have issued anti-coronavirus guidelines including social distancing and wearing face coverings, Washington has not issued nationwide recommendations on school closings or shuttering public services and businesses, leaving individual states to make those determinations.
Trump wants to reopen the U.S. economy as soon as possible after the coronavirus outbreak that has killed nearly 22,000 Americans and cost millions of jobs.
Legal experts say a U.S. president has quite limited power to order citizens back to their places of employment, or cities to reopen government buildings, transportation, or local businesses.
Under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, state governments have power to police citizens and regulate public welfare.
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Lambert and Jonathan Oatis.