Setting the stage for a possible power struggle with President Donald Trump, governors around the U.S. began collaborating on plans Tuesday to reopen their economies in what is likely to a be a drawn-out, step-by-step process to prevent the coronavirus from rebounding with disastrous results.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that he has joined a coalition with his West Coast counterparts in Oregon and Washington and would announce a detailed plan Tuesday for lifting virus restrictions, using “science to guide our decision-making and not political pressure.” A similar coalition has taken shape in the Northeast, encompassing Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. President Trump, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to see the U.S. reopened for business quickly, and at one point said he would like to see churches packed on Easter, insisted over the weekend that he has “total” authority to decide how and when to loosen restrictions in the country - a notion considered at odds with the Constitution, which largely delegates such matters to the states.
On Monday, Los Angeles County reported 239 new coronavirus cases — the lowest number of new daily cases reported in the county since March 26. There were 25 new deaths reported, bringing the total number of deaths in the county to 320. That puts the fatality rate here at 3.4%. That brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in L.A. County to 9,420, including 337 cases reported by Long Beach and 117 cases reported by Pasadena, both which have independent health departments. The number of confirmed cases worldwide is nearing 2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data tracker, with more than a quarter of those cases in the U.S. and 25,000 confirmed in California.
With files from LAist and the Associated Press
Richard Riggs, M.D., senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles