President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised Republican governors in southern states as they move to roll back coronavirus restrictions meant to halt the virus’ spread in their respective states, ignoring warnings from public health experts that lifting the restrictions could make the pandemic worse.
“States are safely coming back. Our Country is starting to OPEN FOR BUSINESS again,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “Special care is, and always will be, given to our beloved seniors (except me!). Their lives will be better than ever…WE LOVE YOU ALL!”
Both Trump and Pence complimented Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen the economy even as he faces backlash from local leaders and business owners.
Kemp on Monday announced Georgia would allow nail salons, massage therapists, bowling alleys and gyms to open Friday. In-person church services can resume. And restaurants and movie theaters can open Monday. His order also bars cities from imposing their own restrictions on businesses. The move came as a surprise to mayors and some members of Kemp’s own coronavirus task force.
Kemp, a staunch ally of Trump, made the decision to reopen the state’s businesses at least a day before announcing it, CNN reports, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, businesses across Tennessee will be able to reopen as early as next week, according to Politico.
“South Carolina is allowing establishments such as bookstores, department stores, flea markets, florists and music shops to resume operations while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave permission for some beaches in his state to reopen,” Politico reports.
Trump’s eagerness to restart the flagging economy has been amplified over the past week by right-wing demonstrations in capital cities against state-issued stay-at-home orders. Last Friday, Trump encouraged the protesters, urging them to “LIBERATE” Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia — all states led by Democratic governors.