Tennessee lawmakers weigh in on reopening the country beginning in May


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The entire country is paused right now with many waiting out this virus at home wondering when they can get back to work.

Unemployment has sky rocketed and markets are suffering.

President Donald Trump had originally hoped everything would return to normal by Easter Sunday, but that did not happen.

Now there’s a new projection, the administration is hinting at reopening the economy as early as May 1, but health officials say we won’t be ready.

“I don’t want anybody to die, but America’s gonna die if we keep keeping this shut down, we’ve got to move forward, we’ve got to get back to work,” Tennessee Representative Jeremy Faison (R) told News 2 Saturday.

In Tennessee, political parties take their stands in opinions of health verse economy.

“We need to do what is right from a public health perspective, we need to keep social distancing and keep this shut down until the virus is under control,” Representative Mike Stewart (D) told News 2.

Friday, President Donald Trump announced he’s forming an “Opening our Country” task force.

With 16 million people filing unemployment claims over the past three weeks, the administration has hinted at a goal of reopening in May.

“President Trump has absolutely failed in his response to the coronavirus,” Stewart went on to say, “We could’ve had this thing under control if the administration had taken it seriously in the first place instead we’ve had to shut down our economy, they want to open up the economy so they don’t take the political heat.”

Faison disagrees, “If civil unrest happens, after the government money runs out, which it will because we can’t keep burning millions of dollars, when civil unrest happens, nobody’s going to remember what COVID-19 was. When people don’t get their check, the death rate will grow exponentially, and it will be bad, it’ll be worse than COVID-19,” he said.

“What I would suggest is that probably every week or two weeks, we re-evalute it,” Senator Steve Dickerson (R) weighed in.

“In Tennessee, and I’m a practicing physician, so it’s something I keep a pretty close eye on, our expectation was that our surge would occur sometime between the 15th and the 20th of April, and so I think as a state, we need to let that occur, we need to give it a few more days after that to see you know that we’ve in fact seen the pick, and that the numbers are starting to decrease, and then at that point I think we can have a conversation about when we might want to loosen some of the restrictions,” Dickerson said.

State lawmakers agree we should proceed cautiously, but to where is yet to be determined.

Trump said he will announce who is on the new task force Tuesday.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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