Stop Freaking Out: We're Not Going to Re-Open the Country All at Once

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Washington, as Attorney General William Barr and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

On Tuesday, Donald Trump said he would like to see the country opened back up by Easter. Many people freaked out, waving their arms and running around screaming that the President is going to kill us all (again). He didn’t establish a hard date here. He simply said that is what he would like to see.

It is not his policy to just return the country to normal on a whim. Clearly, there is a goal and the government is looking into how to meet that goal. There is, contrary to what many in the media and on the Left might tell you, an actual plan here. Those whose hatred of the President is so great that they would blame him for someone drinking fish tank cleaner are not going to let you know that the White House has actually announced its plan. Instead, they’ll continue to question whether or not the country will be ready to be open for business at a hard date the President never actually set.

So, what is that plan?

According to the President’s own remarks, it’s to approach the problem on a region-by-region basis.

From the beginning, we have been working closely with our nation’s best scientists and medical professionals, and we will continue to do so until we have defeated the virus.  Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation in the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time.

We also have a large team working on what the next steps will be once the medical community gives a region the okay — meaning the okay to get going, to get back; let’s go to work.

Our country wasn’t built to be shut down.  This is not a country that was built for this.  It was not built to be shut down.

Trump is carefully trying to balance the medical and economic approach here, and based on what we’ve seen coming out of Washington D.C., it looks like the public health experts are going to break the country down by region – anywhere from Congressional-district-sized to zip code to possibly even the county level.

What this suggests is that if the federal government were to lift guidelines/recommendations, it would start by targeting the areas of the country that are clear of COVID-19 or are not showing any spread. As public health agencies report in, new areas of full containment or designated as all clear would be next up to see restrictions lifted.

This is ultimately the right approach because the entire point of our system of government is based on the idea that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to setting policy. It is frankly ridiculous for some places of the country – particularly rural areas with absolutely no infections and very little chance of anyone infected even visiting those places – to be shut down because a shut down in those areas would kill off the entire town’s business community. Whereas bigger cities could take a shutdown and survive because many of the businesses there are larger, the smaller communities simply could not handle it.

That’s where it appears the Trump administration is headed, and it is the right direction. It is actually refreshing to see a chief executive in government get handed all the power and, in this case, not use it, instead letting the system work it out.

Joe Cunningham
Joe Cunningham is a Senior Editor at RedState. You can find his commentary on Louisiana issues at The Hayride. You can also follow him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and Like his page on Facebook.
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