Governors of western states work together as coronavirus cases start to drop; Trace Gallagher reports.

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The governors of California, Oregon and Washington on Monday announced a joint plan of action to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately reopen their economies.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made the pact announcement in a statement.

FILE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking at a news briefing at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
(AP)

“COVID-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the West Coast will flip the script on COVID-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities,” the statement read.

The governors stressed that its coordinated response effort will not hinder each states’ ability to build a “state-specific plan.”

The statement continued, “Our residents’ health comes first. As home to one in six Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.”

The governors said health outcomes and science, not politics, would drive decision-making. Any modifications to each state’s stay-at-home order will be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the health impacts of COVID-19, they added, saying no large-scale reopening will take place until metrics reflected a significant decline in the spread of the virus.

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“COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries. It will take every level of government, working together, and a full picture of what’s happening on the ground,” the statement read.

Newsom said he will announce a detailed plan on Tuesday for lifting restrictions – a decision he’ll make without “political pressure,” in an apparent swipe at President Trump.

Trump tweeted earlier Monday in apparent response to assertions that it’s up to the governors, not the president or the federal government, to restart states’ economies.

“Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect,” Trump wrote. “It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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