WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – To overcome the economically crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said North Carolina needs to look at reopening the state county by county.
“(If) it’s on the other side of the curve or they’ve had relatively low incidences, start thinking about policies to safely get them back to work,” Tillis said Friday.
Tillis is on President Donald Trump’s Bipartisan Economic Task Force, assigned to get America back up and running.
“We’ve gotta get that process going. It’s a big state with 10 million people and it’s gonna take time to get fully open,” he said.
But some of his constituents are losing patience. They are joining Facebook groups and outdoor protests during the stay-at-home orders and calling for elected officials to reopen businesses now.
The White House said the country should reopen in phases. But to do that, each state needs to have sufficient testing.
“Before we can reopen the economy, we must do more testing,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-1) said Friday.
Butterfield said the state is nowhere near the needed testing levels, especially in minority and rural communities. He said the testing will provide vital information about when it’s OK to go back to work.
“We gotta have the data, we must do the testing, it is our responsibility in Washington to provide the resources.”
President Trump said testing is up to the states but Butterfield hopes for more cooperation.
“The federal government does have a role working with state government,” he added.
Butterfield hopes all sides can come up with an agreement to fund testing by early next week.