Trump ‘Not Sure We Even Have a Choice’ on Reopening States

‘This country can’t stay closed and locked down for years…’

Trump Says He Won't Extend Social Distancing Guidelines

Donald Trump/AP Photo

(Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump was continuing his push to get states reopened as he praised another Republican governor for rolling back state coronavirus restrictions while welcoming that governor, Greg Abbott of Texas, to the White House.

Trump also held a National Day of Prayer service in the Rose Garden Thursday, praying for frontline workers and the families of those who have fallen sick.

“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,” Trump told reporters. “I think we have to do it. You know, this country can’t stay closed and locked down for years.”

Abbott’s visit comes as he faces mounting pressure back home to reboot the Texas economy at a faster pace, even as cases in his state are on the upswing. Restaurants and retailers in the state have already been allowed to resume limited service and hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to reopen Friday.

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Just hours before appearing with Trump, Abbott removed jail as a punishment for flouting virus safeguards still in place in Texas amid an outcry over a Dallas salon owner who was jailed for keeping her business open in defiance of Abbott’s restrictions.

Texas is among a long list of states that have been gradually allowing business to reopen.

Abbott on Thursday insisted the state was containing the spread of the virus and had created “surge forces” to deal with virus flareups, with a focus on jails, meatpacking plants and senior homes, where the virus has proven particularly deadly.

“It’s like putting out a fire,” he said, echoing language used by Trump.

Trump has taken a hands-off approach to the reopening process, as he did with restrictions that were imposed, insisting that decisions be left to the states.

Later, in the Rose Garden, the president and first lady Melania Trump expressed their sympathies for those who have lost loved ones before faith leaders from different religious affiliations offered prayers from a separate lectern.

“In recent days and weeks, our country has endured a grave hardship. We pray for every family stricken with grief and devastated with a tragic loss,” as well as the doctors, nurses and first responders “waging war against the invisible enemy,” Trump said.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.