Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said that while governors have been asked to follow the federal guidelines around reopening state economies, each governor is able to “decide for themselves."
“We have asked every governor to follow the guidelines,” Birx said, responding to a question from CNN's Kaitlan Collins about what she thought of South Carolina beginning to reopen without reaching federal guidelines.
Birx then added though that “each of the governors can decide for themselves whether they’ve reached specific guidelines.”
She noted that states need to publicly make available their data on coronavirus cases and specifically applauded Florida for their website.
Birx also noted that Jacksonville, Florida, opened before the rest of the state and said that it makes sense because the city has had less than 20 cases a day — far less than southern parts of the state.
“When you inform the public and give them the information that they need, then they can make decisions along with the local officials and government,” Birx said.
States starting to reopen: In addition to South Carolina loosening restrictions, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that certain businesses in the state would be able to reopen this week in “a small step forward” out of the social distancing measures.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee also made a similar announcement today, saying the economy would start to reopen by May 1.
Democratic governors of Illinois and Louisiana also signaled Monday that different parts of their states could reopen in the near future.