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Raskin, Shalala, Jeffries, Eshoo, Welch Statement on Trump’s Guidelines for Reopening America

April 16, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala (D-FL), Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and E&C Committee Member Peter Welch (D-VT) issued the following joint statement in response to President Trump’s release of his “Opening Up America Again” guidelines:  

“America needs a national plan to reopen commerce and social life based on aggressive federal leadership. This plan must mobilize science, industry, federal funding and a public health campaign to help the states get back on their feet. The President’s release of ‘Proposed State or Regional Gating Criteria’ is totally inadequate. America needs real federal leadership with a real plan of aggressive action to combat COVID-19 — not a set of foggy guidelines emailed to the resource-starved Governors of 50 states struggling to contain the worst pandemic in a century. 

“There is no mention in the President’s ‘gating criteria’ of what the federal role is. If there is a federal plan of action, it is still a secret. The criteria do not tell us how the federal government will spearhead dramatic expansion of public testing, mobile testing, contact tracing, temperature checks or other public health measures. They do not tell us how the federal government will help the states develop and prepare individual state or regional reopening plans. There is no mention of how the federal government is going to mobilize industry to manufacture the protective personal equipment that our front-line health care providers need and the ventilators and other medical equipment that our people need. After three months of incompetence and chaos, all the Administration can offer by way of a federal plan of action to reopen America today is a set of advisory principles for what states should do. What about the government of the United States? It is hard to imagine a more colossal abdication of federal responsibility. 

“We look forward to introducing the Reopen America Act (RAA) tomorrow in the House of Representatives and we will act quickly to advance the real plan of action that America needs.” 

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