U.S. states are creating separate and growing confederations to set common policies on coronavirus tests, tracking patients and setting standards for resuming social and economic life.
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday laid out rough benchmarks for reopening his state’s economy — and radically reshaping daily life — as he tried to bring other states into his West Coast coalition to fight the new coronavirus. The move came as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has marshaled seven Northeastern states, sparred with President Donald Trump over who has final authority to lift stay-home orders and restart the U.S. economy. And in the Midwest, another group of states is considering its own unified effort.
The remarkable ad hoc efforts, while more concrete than any plans publicly advanced by the federal government, also raised the possibility of a nation split into discrete regions, with their own standards and timelines for easing stay-at-home orders. That could hamper the larger fight against a virus that has already killed more than 25,000 Americans, as experts warn that lifting restrictions too soon would risk another surge of infections.
“It would not be appropriate if a state says, ‘We need to be taking restraints off,’ …