Sen. Hawley: Give local and regional leaders in each state 'flexibility' on reopening businesses

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Sen. Josh Hawley said on Friday that regional leaders should have the flexibility to determine when is the appropriate time to reopen businesses during coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s no doubt that everyone wants to get back to work,” the Republican Missouri lawmaker told “Fox & Friends.”

“Because if you know, within the state of Missouri, what’s good for the southwest part of the state - which is where I live and where I am now - is different for the major urban areas. So, we’ve got to give local leaders the flexibility but we’ve got to allow people to get back to work and we’ve got bring their jobs back.”

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Demonstrators rallied in states across the country this month to protest governor-imposed stay-at-home orders that have kept Americans out of work for weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, with many arguing that the strict measures attack their constitutional freedoms and liberties.

Governors in at least 43 states have instituted quarantine restrictions that temporarily banned large public gatherings, closed schools and shuttered most businesses, effectively pausing the economy and hurting the livelihoods of many Americans.

Unemployment skyrocketed as measures to protect against the pandemic squeezed the economy, with total claims over the four weeks ending on April 11 reaching nearly 22 million workers and an unemployment rate close to 13 percent.

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Hawley said that Missouri’s shutdown will be ifted on May 3 on a statewide level, however, businesses will reopen in accord with each county government’s determination.

“Under the state order, all of the restrictions are lifted on that date and then our state, local governments and counties can make their own decisions then if they want to extend their stay-at-home order so they get to do it county by county--city by city.”