McConnell: Governors should begin reopening states

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump signs executive orders after coronavirus relief talks falter Coronavirus deal key to Republicans protecting Senate majority Coronavirus talks collapse as negotiators fail to reach deal 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. 

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran 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 GrahamSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Graham says he appreciates Trump orders, but 'would much prefer a congressional agreement' Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE (R-S.C.) warned the neighboring state against going "too fast too soon." 

Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSeveral GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline Trump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary 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 PaulTrump-backed Hagerty wins Tennessee GOP Senate primary Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's visit to battleground Ohio overshadowed by coronavirus 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. 

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"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.