'It's just too soon': Trump disagrees 'strongly' with Georgia reopening of shops amid virus fears

'They can wait just a little bit longer,' Trump said of Georgia's beauty parlors, tattoo parlors, and spas.

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President Trump on April 21, 2020
President Trump on April 21, 2020
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Updated: April 22, 2020 - 7:17pm

President Trump said he disagreed with Georgia's decision to allow some shops to re-open as early as Friday after shuttering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the Phase 1 guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia," Trump said Wednesday during a press conference of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. "But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right. But I disagree with him on what he's doing."

Trump said he wanted to give governors discretion, although he would step in if he sees something "totally egregious, totally out of line." 

Trump's administration last week released a 3-phase set of guidelines to re-open following the worst of the pandemic. Trump said that these Georgia shops shouldn't be re-opening during the federal phase 1 guidelines and should instead wait for phase 2.

"We're going to have phase 2 very soon," Trump said. "It's just too soon. I think it's too soon. And I love the people. I love those people that use all of those things, the spas, and the beauty parlors, barber shops, tattoo parlors. I love 'em. But they can wait a little bit longer, just a little bit. Not much. Because safety has to predominate. We have to have that. So I told the governor very simply that I disagree with his decision, but he has to do what he thinks is right."

Some legal experts, both Democratic and Republican, have argued that the coronavirus emergency gives President Trump wide power to overrule governors over conflicts about how and when to re-open the country after the coronavirus shutdown.

Forty-six percent of registered U.S. voters want decisions about re-opening the country after the coronavirus to be made by state and local officials. Only 15% think it should be a federal decision, according to the Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Trump praised Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) for his re-opening strategy. 

"Some of the governors have done a fantastic job working with us," Trump said.

To read the White House's complete post-coronavirus reopening plan, click below:

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