Restrictions Rolled back in May? Trump Forms Second Task Force to Focus on Country's Economic Recovery

Global COVID-19 cases have now exceeded 2 million with more than 23,000 deaths in the United States. 

This news comes as President Trump announced a second Coronavirus Task Force Tuesday to focus on the country's economic recovery.

Trump calls this "the biggest decision" he's ever had to make -- exactly when and how to reopen the country. He's hoping to roll back restrictions by May. 

"The President of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do which is very powerful," Trump said. "The President of the US calls the shots." 

But some say the law is not so clear cut. 

"I think generally the power resides with the states, and my guess is the court would bend in that direction also," Dr. Mark Caleb Smith, associate professor of Political Science at Cedarville University. "It's difficult to imagine the necessity of national policy when it comes to the reopening of the economy, for example."

Several states from New York to California are already talking about ways to take this next step.

"The president will need to issue an executive order saying that certain states can open but ultimately the logistics of this will be decided by the nation's governors," Stephen Moore, an economist with The Heritage Foundation, said. 

President Trump is making one move with an economic task force that he's calling the "Opening Our Country Council."

He plans to take a leading role alongside the new White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows who will play a supporting role. The administration has assembled an expert panel of doctors and business leaders to join the task force. 

Trump predicts that once businesses' doors are open again, the economy will take off like a rocket

Observers warn some workers and consumers will be hesitant to return to life as it was before.

"I think if the government can focus on consumer confidence with the underlying principle of the communications being truth then I think demand will start to come back because ultimately this economic issue is a demand issue," said Regent University's Dr. Andrew Root. "It's not a supply issue and demand will be a function of how well consumer confidence rebounds from what's obviously been a significant decline from cyclical highs." 

"When are we getting back to normal, that is the question we all of us want an answer to," Moore said. "It's not going to be like an ignition switch of a car that we can just reopen the economy and everybody is going to get back to work. I wish that were the case. it's going to take in my opinion about three of four months before we have the end of this recession and it's going to be a slow recovery."

President Trump on Tuesday also announced that several executives, economists, scholars, and industry leaders will form various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. The groups include the areas of agriculture, banking, construction/labor/workforce, defense, energy, financial services, food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, retail, tech, telecommunications, transportation, sports, and thought leaders/groups. Each of these groups will work with the White House with the goal of helping the country become more self-sufficient. 

The CDC says the first step to re-opening the country is widespread testing, which is not yet available. 

It will likely be a year before a coronavirus vaccine is available to the public. 


April 15, 2020