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7 Midwest governors to look at 4 factors in reopening economy

Seven governors announced Thursday a plan to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Seven governors announced Thursday a plan to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

April 16 (UPI) -- Seven Midwest governors unveiled a plan Thursday to analyze four factors in determining whether to reopen their economies.

The seven governors said in a statement they will work together to reopen the Midwest region economy.

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They include Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

"Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations," is the first among four factors the governors outlined. Second is "enhanced ability to test and trace." Third is "sufficient healthcare capacity to handle resurgence" and the fourth is "best practices for social distancing in the workplace."

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker indicated Tuesday that the partnership to come up with a reopening plan had been underway after similar announcements from northeastern and western coast governors.

Collectively, the governors said the "health and safety of our citizens" is the "number one priority."

The reopening should also be done in a manner that "prioritizes our workers' health," governors said.

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"We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protects families from the spread of COVID-19," they added. "We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in healthcare, business, labor, and education."

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The governors pointed out that their economies may not reopen "at the same time," but working together to develop the four guidelines ensures the reopening is done the right way. "Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal," their statement said. "We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together."

President Donald Trump backed down from Monday's tweet that it was his decision, not governors, "to open up the states" after governors pushed back, saying Tuesday he's fine with governors deciding.

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Trump added Thursday that governors can choose to reopen before next month.

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Bass Pro Shops marketing manager David Smith (R) carries a box of donated face masks into Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., on May 13. The company is donating 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure Face Masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the pandemic. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

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