Several conservative advocacy groups are forming a coalition to urge the federal government to relax social distancing guidelines and swiftly reopen the U.S. economy, The Washington Post reported on Monday. The concerted effort directly contradicts advice from top public health experts who warn that a premature reopening of the economy could result in dire health consequences and a potential “second wave” of coronavirus cases. The conservative groups contend that a prolonged shutdown could have more severe consequences for Americans by pulling the economy into a recession, which experts have rebuked. Those who are expected to spearhead the coalition include Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and ally of White House economic officials, Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots co-founder, Adam Brandon, president of conservative group FreedomWorks, and Lisa Nelson, CEO of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Post reported.
“There’s a massive movement on the right now, growing exponentially. In the next two weeks you’ll see protests in the streets of conservatives; you’ll see a big push-back against the lock-down in some states,” Moore told the Post. It is unknown whether President Trump has the authority to “override” the decisions of state and local officials to reopen the economy as he has previously claimed. Legal experts have asserted that the federal government does not have the power to force states to reopen their economies, according to Politico.