President Donald Trump announced that three more states will begin a phased reopening process on May 1 after meeting the requirements for decreasing cases of COVID-19.
The governors of Ohio, North Dakota and Idaho all intend to begin the process. Reopening will occur in three phases for each state according to the severity of their outbreaks. Minnesota began relaxing distancing guidelines on Friday, but states with the most critical outbreaks like New York, New Jersey and Louisiana may take much longer to reach phase one. (RELATED: US Ramps Up Crackdown On China’s Spying Efforts During Coronavirus)
Phase one allows restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and churches to reopen so long as they follow distancing guidelines. Phase two will allow schools, camps and public parks to reopen, and the aforementioned industries in phase one can adopt less strict guidelines. Phase three allows major sporting events to return under light distancing guidelines, and employers can return to normal staffing.
The decision to begin the reopening process ultimately lies with individual governors, according to Trump.
The announcement comes after Trump escalated his messaging against China on the coronavirus, saying Friday the communist country “has to be” the country with the most coronavirus cases and deaths. (RELATED: Asked Whether China Censored Early Coronavirus Data, Senior WHO Official Said He ‘Didn’t Look’)
China has been widely criticized for falsifying coronavirus cases and deaths since the beginning of its outbreak in Wuhan. Official data claims roughly 3,500 people died in the city, but evidence suggests the true number is over 40,000.
“Let me put it this way: I’m not happy,” Trump said.