While Donald Trump has suggestively announced that he has the authority to re-open businesses across the US, Kate Brown has joined Washington Governor Jay Inslee and California Governor Gavin Newsom in the “Western States Pact” agreement. Monday, Nevada and Colorado announced their intention to stand with the west coast.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020
Collectively, this protocol presents a united front to only lift business restrictions when public health data suggests they can. According to wa.gov:
- Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.
- Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.
- Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with it’s local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.
“We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this,” the three Democratic governors said in the statement, making clear their states would continue to build individual response plans.
“While each state will have its own specific plan, our office is coordinating with the Governor’s offices in Washington and California to develop common criteria for this framework and a way for our health departments to coordinate on an ongoing basis. Reopening Oregon is not a process that will happen overnight or statewide all at once.”
–The Office of Kate Brown
The joint announcement included no timeline about when shuttered businesses might be allowed to reopen.