Trump announces plan to re-open the U.S. economy

The guidelines allow states make decisions, but Illinois officials say they are not ready


Tia Dufour

resident Donald J. Trump takes questions from the press during a coronavirus update briefing Sunday, April 19, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.

Kyla Henige, News Editor

Though COVID-19 has put everything on hold in the United States, President Donald Trump called for states to start opening at their own pace.

In a press conference on April 16, Trump officially gave governors the right to decide whether or not their state is allowed to be opened, or if they will remain quarantined until further notice. “We already know we’ll be opening up states, some states sooner than others,” said Trump. “And we think some of the states can actually open up before the deadline of May 1. And I think that will be a very exciting time indeed.” 

Some essential workers, such as Truck Driver Peter Stocco, agree with the president and believe that Illinois should end the shelter in place as long as appropriate precautions are taken. 

“I believe Illinois should open up, because I feel that they are overreacting about a virus that isn’t as deadly as other viruses, and there are more deaths in other scenarios such as the flu or suicide than there is for COVID-19,” says Stocco. “I think that we should’ve never closed down any businesses because they don’t close for other severe viruses.”

Stocco then went on to explain how COVID-19 seems to be based on two key factors: politics, and the relationship between the United States and China. 

Guidelines have been given to the states on how to figure out whether they are in the clear to reopen, but some states such as Georgia took Trump’s announcement as a way of reopening almost immediately. Whereas states, such as Illinois, are continuing to follow social distancing, and may remain under quarantine throughout the month of May.

Some states that, if they don’t open up sooner rather than later, their economies sill suffer, and they will lose a lot of businesses, but some argue they’d rather lose those few businesses and have the country reopen safely, than risk having the virus restart.

Illinois doesn’t plan on reopening May 1. Instead, officials are going to wait and see if the curve goes down. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker hopes to get the state up and running by June. 

“I hope the reopening could occur before the end of May,” said Pritzker. “I think that the new normal that occurs here — and you know, I hope that it could occur before the end of May, but then again, it will be all based on whether people are getting sicker, and where we are in the curve.”

Trump’s guidelines outline a three-phase process, which will determine whether or not states should open. 

Phase one is the protocols that each state is taking right now, and if they go 14 days with a decrease in the number of cases, they can open up smaller areas such as churches but under strict policies, and move onto phase two. 

Phase two is where non-essential workers can go back to work, and places such as restaurants, schools, and other public areas can begin to open up. 

And after another 14 days of decreasing cases, states can move onto phase three where people can go out in public freely, resume to their normal lives and be unquarantined. But even after everyone’s life goes back to normal, it is recommended that everyone remains cautious, and make sure to keep yourself and families safe.

Even when states open up and everyone can resume their lives, the big question that remains is, “Will life go back to normal?”