In the middle of the corona crisis, a power struggle broke out in the United States. The trigger was the further course of action in the fight against the virus. Donald Trump warned of the announcement by the governors of the West Coast states of California, Washington and Oregon, and on the east coast of those of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, about a possible relaxation of the strict restrictions should have followed his orders. “If you are President of the United States, you have all-encompassing power.”
The US President had recently announced several times that he wanted to loosen the restrictions as soon as possible in order to boost economic activity again. He wants to be advised by a team of experts, the “Council for the Opening of Our Country”, as he called him.
The governor of New York State, which was particularly affected by the crisis, the democrat Andrew Cuomo, immediately contradicted Trump. “The president has no all-encompassing power. We have a constitution, we have no king,” he told CNN. The constitution also does not override a nationwide crisis.
Point of contention from the start
The governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, reacted dryly to Trump’s claim to power: “Well, given that it was our responsibility to shut down the state, I believe that it is our primary responsibility to bring it back up.”
In the United States, almost all states have issued their own exit restrictions due to the corona virus. Trump’s government has also recommended precautionary measures across the country, which are expected to continue until the end of April.
The relationship between the states and central power in Washington, DC has always been an issue in the United States. With the exception of foreign policy and military affairs, which are solely a matter for Congress and the President, competencies are often distributed. In many areas, especially those that affect everyday life, it is the federal states that decide federally.
The White House press conference was not just used by Trump to talk about his “all-encompassing power”. Above all, he resisted the accusation that he had reacted too late in the crisis. The president accused media such as the “New York Times” and the broadcaster CNN of treating him “brutally”. He cursed a critically inquiring reporter from CBS as “fake” and “shame”.
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