(HARRISBURG, Pa.-LititzDailyNews.com) – Gov. Tom Wolf and the governors of five other Northeast states just jointly announced formation of a multi-state working group to reopen the regional economy. Wolf, along with the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island, made the announcement during a conference call with the media led by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this afternoon.
Gov. Cuomo, whose state has been severely impacted by COVID-19, stressed the importance of developing a plan to smartly and safely reopen the regional economy in coordination with other states.
“We’ve been talking today about the fact that New York believes we have reached a plateau in the increase in the number of cases, they’re not going down, but they’re not going up at same rate. We believe it’s a “plateau.” That is relatively good news, in a world of bad options,” Cuomo said.
“We should start looking forward to “reopening”, but reopening with a plan, a smart plan, because if you do it wrong, it can backfire, and we’ve seen that on other places on the globe,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Everyone is very anxious to get out of the house, get back to work, get the economy moving, everyone agrees with that.”
“What the art form is going to be doing that smartly, and doing that productively, and in a coordinated way, doing that in coordination with other states in the area and doing that as a cooperative effort to learn from each other, where we share information and we share resources and we share intelligence,” Gov. Cuomo said, noting it has never been done before. “It is one step forward after research and consultation with experts.”
Gov. Cuomo explained that three top officials from each state will be named to participate in the task force intended to coordinate and safely reopen the region’s economy: the head of the health department, economic department, and the chief of staff to each governor.
Gov. Wolf announced that Pennsylvania will be represented on the committee by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin, and the governor’s chief of staff, Mike Brunelle.
The task force is meant to give governors guidelines and parameters to move forward with reopening the region, Gov. Cuomo explained. He does not expect the states to act in unison.
“I don’t believe we wind up with a fully common strategy,” Cuomo said, noting the differing needs of cities and rural counties within each state. Given the nature of travel between the states on the I-95 corridor, what one state does affects the others.
In addition to Gov. Cuomo and Gov. Wolf, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Delaware Gov. John Carney and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo participated in the call. Each governor gave a brief statement.
Gov. Wolf’s remarks focused on instilling a sense of hope into each of their constituents.
“We are creating a plan to let our people, the people we serve, the citizens of our states, that we do do indeed have a future. This is as important as coming up with the specific elements of this plan.”
“As we figure out how we’re going to reopen our schools, how we reopen our businesses and our homes, we also recognize that we have to figure out how to restore a sense of hope that this pandemic has taken away from so many of us,” Gov. Wolf said. Gov. Cuomo concurred.
“We talk about the economic toll, which you can quantify,” Gov. Cuomo said, “You can’t quantify the emotional toll this has taken on people, and I think Governor Wolf is exactly right. Knowing that there’s another day, a new day coming, may be different than past days, but it can be a bright day. And that is true, and we need to focus on that.”
Gov. Wolf will address the state and media tonight in a press conference at 7 p.m. Click here to watch that broadcast.
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Lynn Rebuck is the editor and publisher of award-winning LititzDailyNews.com, the only independent digital news source in Lititz. Lynn is an award-winning photojournalist who was invited to the White House and has received top recognition from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and has been profiled in Editor & Publisher magazine for her unparalleled dedication to publishing LititzDailyNews.com to benefit the community.