Shoppers outside Costco in Westlake Village, Calif wait in line to buy groceries on April 14. (Photo by Soumya Monga)
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President Trump announces a three-phase plan to reopen the country

As COVID-19 rages on globally and cases increase in the United States, President Donald Trump released new guidelines to “reopen America” in three phases, putting the responsibility on each state’s governor to determine whether or not they can reopen, he said in a press conference Thursday.

“America wants to be open, and Americans want to be open,” Trump told reporters yesterday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Trump revealed his plan during his press conference at the White House amid concerns from state governors and public health officials.

“We must have a working economy, and we want to get it back very, very quickly, and that’s what’s going to happen,” Trump said, according to Buzzfeed News. “I believe it will boom.”

Public health officials express concerns about a second wave of the virus as a result of Trump’s new guidelines; however, it seems as Trump’s primary target is to boost the economy from this time of depression. Trump believes that his guidelines would help officials address a second wave.

“If the virus returns in the fall, as some scientists think it may possibly, these guidelines will ensure our country is up and running so that we can likewise put it out quickly,” Trump said, according to Buzzfeed News. “If we see a hot spot developing, we’ve learned a lot. We’ll be able to suppress it, whack it.”

The three phases will each last 14 days to ensure that the loosening of social distancing guidelines is not causing another increase in coronavirus cases.

Phase one will continue compliance with social distancing guidelines and work from home routines, but it will allow the reopening of movie theaters, churches and sports venues if social distancing is followed.

Phase two will allow for schools to reopen and nonessential travel to commence. Lastly, phase three will have workplaces fully staffed and nursing homes open.

“There may be some setbacks. Let’s face it,” top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci cautions, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We may have to pull back a little, and then go forward.”

Trump is hopeful for America’s reopening by stating some states, if they pass the criteria, are ready to start phase one by today. He also went on to say that around 29 states could begin the process of reopening.

“We’ll be standing right alongside [the governors] and we’re going to get our country open,” Trump said in a call reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

Though Fauci and other businesses raised concerns to the president about the lack of testing and virus-tracing capabilities the country has to reopen so soon, Trump is eager to halt the number of Americans filing for unemployment through his new guidelines.