|People participate in a "Liberate Minnesota" protest on Friday to oppose stay-at-home orders. | Evan Frost/Minnesota Public Radio via AP|
By NANCY COOK
04/20/2020 04:30 AM EDT
President Donald Trump is preparing for a long battle with America’s governors to save himself from the political fallout from coronavirus.
Over the next two weeks at the urging of the Trump administration, the map of the U.S. will start to resemble a patchwork quilt, with some states open for business while others remain locked down because of the spread of the virus.
Trump has said the onus for reopening states lies with their leaders, but he has simultaneously tried to pressure governors into restarting businesses and relaxing health guidelines as soon as possible.
Senior administration officials and Trump advisers say the level of hostility between the president and governors will probably only increase in the coming days, in part because Trump sees so much political opportunity in stoking those divisions during his reelection campaign. Governors have become his latest political foil, along with China and the World Health Organization, and he’s trying to bully and scapegoat them amid his administration’s response to the pandemic.
“People’s initial reaction is always to look to the president, but as time goes on and it becomes clear other states are doing other things, that blame and credit will shift to the governors, considering they are the ones making the calls,” one Trump political adviser said.
Small protests over the weekend in Texas, North Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire only highlighted the frustration of some Americans about the shuttering of huge swaths of the economy. Trump aides and advisers are closely monitoring those protests because they think the demonstrations give momentum to the president’s argument to reopen the economy as soon as possible — not to mention a potential source of energy heading into the fall election .
Read and see more: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/20/trump-revs-up-state-fight-coronavirus-shutdowns-195443