US President Donald Trump claimed ‘total authority’ over the decision to ease up the restrictions and reopen businesses as the country is struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus. During the heated White House press conference, Trump asserted that the US President has the power to overrule the decisions taken by the governors who have issued stay-at-home orders for their respective states.
“I am going to put it very simply: the president of the United States has the authority to do what the president has the authority to do, which is very powerful. The president of the United States calls the shots,” said Trump.
However, constitutional experts have found no basis for Trump’s claim as the authority to shut businesses during a public health crisis is reserved by the Constitution to the states and not the federal government. When pressed by a reporter about the basis of ‘total authority’ claim, Trump said, “When somebody is the President of the United States, the authority is total. And that's the way it's gotta be. It's total.”
Earlier, Trump had blamed "fake news" media for creating "confusion" over the power dynamics between the US President and governors on the decision to open up states. He reiterated that the decision to reopen states does not lie with governors but with the President.
....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
The United States has already reported nearly 587,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and around 23,640 deaths due to the infection with New York being the hardest-hit which has alone reported over 10,000 deaths. According to the latest report, over 1.9 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 119,700 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe.
(Image credit: AP)