White House official says Arizona, rest of states should decide on reopening

May 1, 2020, 10:13 AM | Updated: 8:29 pm
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the White House had no problem leaving governors to decide when to reopen during the coronavirus outbreak.

“If there is a real outlier, I think the president [Donald Trump] is going to call them out, but I think part of federalism, part of having the states being in charge, is you’ve got to defer to the governors to make some of these calls,” Azar told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday.

“We’ve got to get this country back to work. There are safe ways people we can get back outside,” he said.

Gov. Doug Ducey modified and extended a stay-at-home order on Wednesday. The order will remain in place until May 15. The original restrictions were to have expired Thursday.

“The situation in Scottsdale could be radically different from Manhattan. That’s why we’ve got to make more focused decisions instead of just a single national approach to staying at home, say,” Azar said.

Starting Monday, some Arizona businesses that hadn’t been determined to be essential can return to selling their goods in a limited capacity. Also, effective May 8, stores selling goods (but not services) can reopen if they choose, as long as they follow the new guidelines issued late Friday morning.

Ducey was in talks with restaurant industry leaders to allow restaurants to offer dine-in services again later in the month.

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White House official says Arizona, rest of states should decide on reopening