Gavin Newsom

Forget shelter in place: It may be time to settle in place.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday that California will likely remain closed through April. His prediction came the same day President Donald Trump announced his intention to reopen the country by Easter, on April 12.

Newsom did not directly address Trump’s comments, but he emphasized that such a timeline would not work for California.

  • Newsom: “We’re trying to bend that curve, but we haven’t bent it. … April, early April, I think that would be misleading to represent, at least for California. … I’ve said this very honestly and objectively based on all the expertise and experts … the next six to eight weeks will be pivotal and will be determinative in terms of being able to … reset expectations. … I said eight to 12 weeks … we can continue to do what we’ve done, and if we do that, hopefully, we’ll be in a very different place than we are today. I think April, for California, would be sooner than any of the experts I’ve talked to would believe is possible.”

By underscoring his reliance on health experts to determine an appropriate time to reopen the state, Newsom implicitly contrasted himself with the president, who said he chose the April 12 date because “I just thought it was a beautiful time.”

However, it’s ultimately governors, not the president, who will decide when their states reopen for business. To date, almost half of U.S. states have imposed lockdowns in response to coronavirus.

CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.  

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