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Trump falsely declares that governors must obey him when it’s time to “open” the country again

Trump falsely declares that governors must obey him when it’s time to “open” the country again

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It’s hardly a unique observation that Democrats and Republicans increasingly exist in different realities. Those who believe our pathologically dishonest president and who tune in to Hannity and Tucker Carlson Tonight operate in a paranoid world where the so-called Deep State is out to sabotage America from the inside out, where foreign hordes are clambering to swarm across our border, and conspiracy theories reign supreme.

The outbreak of the coronavirus should have logically bridged this divide. A virus that infects and kills at such an alarming rate should surely transcend this worsening epistemological balkanization. Instead, the Republican president started off this crisis by referring to COVID-19 as a Democratic hoax and has regularly peddled snake-oil cures for the virus.

On top of that, there is a disturbing strain of thought on the right arguing that reopening business prematurely might be worth it to boost the economy even if it means more people would die.

Add your name to reject Trump & Republicans’ vile idea of sacrificing seniors’ lives to save the stock market!

Trump himself tapped into this logic in his tweets this morning. He accused the “Fake News Media” of reporting for the sole purpose of “creating conflict and confusion” that the decision to “open up the states” belongs to the governors of their respective states. The president erroneously stated such an assessment is “incorrect” and that ultimately this power falls under his purview. He stated that he will make such a decision soon and will consult with the governors and “others” when he does.

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The truth, as it so often is, is the opposite of what Trump is stating. The closing of businesses was ordered by the governors and it’s the governors who wield the police power to open them back up. Short of some gross abuse of power, there is no legitimate mechanism in place for Trump to do what he says he can do.

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When and how the economy opens back up will be questions answered by state and local officials and even then it will require individual Americans actually deciding to leave the safety of their homes to return to work and patronize businesses. By any reasonable estimation, we are still a long way from that eventuality.

This is about Donald Trump’s ego. He despises the idea of not having absolute control and has at best a casual understanding of the Constitution. Luckily for the American people, it takes more than simply claiming a power to wield it.

Follow Rob Haffey on Twitter.

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