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Midwest governors will work together to reopen regional economy


 Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to work with six other Midwest governors to reopen the region’s economy when it is safe to do so.

Pritzker will work with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. DeWine and Holcomb are the only Republicans in the group.

“We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet,” the group said in a statement. “… We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protects families from the spread of COVID-19.”

The coalition of governors said it would evaluate reopening the regional economies based on

  • Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
  • Enhanced ability to test and trace.
  • Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
  • And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region,” the group said in a statement. “This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.”

Similar groups of governors on the West Coast and East Coast have formed with similar goals to restart the economy using a regional approach.


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