Most congressional Republicans say the country should move slowly on reopening while the coronavirus pandemic continues, but a handful of lawmakers are pushing President Donald Trump to move even faster.
“It should have happened yesterday,” Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who chairs the House Freedom Caucus and has been one of the loudest voices calling for reopening the nation, told Politico about removing lockdowns. “I’m trying to use every bully pulpit I can to make my case.”
On Wednesday, several Senate Republicans are expected to speak with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, and Republicans are agreeing that it's time to think about reopening the nation and warning that there will be severe consequences if that doesn't happen.
“The president was very unfairly criticized for just [saying] what is indisputably true: ‘We need to make sure the cure isn’t worse than the disease,'" Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., told Politico. "I am concerned that the cure is worse than the disease. If you’re a carpenter, every nail you see, the solution’s a hammer. The same may be true for epidemiologists.”
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., also said he agrees that the United States is in a "completely unsustainable place."
“We’re extremely unlikely to overwhelm our hospital capacities," he said. "In fact, in a matter of days and in some cases the moment may even have passed, that we’ve reached the peak of the rate of infections."
Tuesday, Trump said that plans to reopen the country are "close to being finalized," but some Republicans, like Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, say public health and testing must be used when deciding what should be done.
“We do need to have to see a sustained decline in the number of cases over a 14-day period,” she said. “We really need to ramp up testing. And only then will people have the confidence to go out.”
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