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As U.S. states reopen, White House keeps CDC guidance on the shelf

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on May 8, 2020 - Duration: 02:15s

As U.S. states reopen, White House keeps CDC guidance on the shelf

The White House shelved a step-by-step guide prepared by U.S. health officials to help states safely reopen mass transit and businesses closed by the coronavirus pandemic, an administration official said on Thursday.

This report produced by Chris Dignam.

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As U.S. states reopen, White House keeps CDC guidance on the shelf

TRUMP: "This country can't stay closed and locked down for years..." President Donald Trump continued to push for reopening U.S. businesses on Thursday (May 7) at a mask-free meeting with the governor of Texas, one of many states that have begun easing restrictions but have yet to meet the White House's own recommendations to hold off until the number of new coronavirus cases has declined for two weeks.

TRUMP: "Texas is opening up and a lot of places are opening up.

And we want to do it and I'm not sure that we even have a choice.

I think we have to do it." Earlier on Thursday, a member of Trump's coronavirus task force told Reuters that the White House shelved even more specific recommendations from the CDC - a step-by-step guide prepared by health officials to help states safely reopen the country, including restaurants, daycare centers and other public places closed by the pandemic.

The administration official said the CDC document was put off to avoid giving "overly prescriptive" guidance.

The CDC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday urged Trump to listen to the experts.

PELOSI: "You want to be able to open up the economy?

Testing, testing, testing.

Tracing, tracing, tracing.

Treatment, treatment, treatment.

Isolation, Social distancing.

But the three Ts, right are absolutely essential.

That's what scientists tell us." And while many states are relaxing some restrictions, others in harder-hit states urged caution, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

CUOMO: "You have states that are opening where you are still on the incline.

I think that's a mistake." Trump has largely allowed states' governors to make their own decisions about reopening, and said he trusted Republican governor Greg Abbott to handle it.

TRUMP: "We know that you may have fires every once in a while in certain locations.

Some little ones, maybe some big ones but you know how to shut it down.

You might want to speak about that." ABBOTT: "We created these surge forces that will go out to regions where there are flare ups, and it's like putting out a fire." But public health experts have warned that if the so-called fires cannot be controlled, then they could potentially spark a whole new round of lockdowns.

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