SPONSORED:

McConnell: Governors should begin reopening states

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP braces for wild week with momentous vote GOP divided over expected Cheney ouster Sunday shows - White House COVID-19 response coordinator says US is 'turning the corner' MORE (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that governors, including his state's own, should start allowing businesses shuttered by the coronavirus to reopen as lawmakers turn their focus toward trying to revive the economy.
 
“The ultimate solution to this is to get the economy back up and running. I’m encouraging our governor, for example, and he’s already doing it, to begin to make steps in the direction of opening up the economy," McConnell told Fox News. 

McConnell added that "all of us are going to be encouraging our states to begin to move in the direction of getting back to normal." 

"Bearing in mind the advice of Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and Dr. [Deborah] Birx — social distancing, the destigmatization of wearing a mask. Nobody should be embarrassed to wear a mask. And let’s ease back in and solve the problem by getting growth back in our economy," McConnell said. 

ADVERTISEMENT

President TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE and his GOP allies in Congress are increasingly pushing to begin to reopen sectors of the economy that have been curbed or closed altogether to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Forty-three states currently have stay-at-home orders.

Democrats, health experts and some Republicans are warning against moving too quickly over concerns that it will lead to a second spike in coronavirus cases. After Georgia announced that it would lift restrictions on businesses such as barber shops and gyms, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell safe in power, despite Trump's wrath Lindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump' House to advance appropriations bills in June, July MORE (R-S.C.) warned the neighboring state against going "too fast too soon." 

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality MORE (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, warned recently that unless there is a ramping up of testing capacity and accessibility, "it will be difficult to contain this disease and give Americans confidence to go back to work and back to school." 

But with stocks plummeting and 22 million filing for unemployment claims in the past four weeks, GOP lawmakers are increasingly calling for states to begin gradually lifting restrictions. Protests have also cropped up in several states against the social distancing measures. 

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.), speaking from the Senate floor on Tuesday, argued that ending social distancing restrictions, not more money from Congress, was the solution to the country's economic problems. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"If you print up billions of dollars and give it to people, they're unlikely to spend it until you end the quarantine," he said. 

McConnell also indicated to reporters after the Senate passed its $484 billion coronavirus bill that he would like to see the "beginning steps" of reopening the economy.  

"Unless we get our economy up and running again, there's not any way we can spend enough to continue to prop up the country," he said.