WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Gov. Henry McMaster says he’s working on a plan to restart the Palmetto State’s economy.
More than 180,000 people have lost their jobs in South Carolina during the coronavirus pandemic and Gov. McMaster is trying to figure out how many of those people can safely go back to work.
“Now is not the time to let up,” said Gov. McMaster. “We have to keep on going.”
They’re questions governments all over the world are trying to solve: when and how to restart their economies.
“A business that’s open may not be essential to you or me, but it’s certainly essential to that business owner, who may have spent his or her lifetime building it up to where it is,” Gov. McMaster said.
During a news conference Monday, the governor said he will soon announce a “rejuvenation plan” for South Carolina’s economy. He didn’t explain any further details.
He did say he isn’t being rushed by President Donald Trump, who claims he has total authority to reopen the country.
“He has not been giving any pressure,” said Gov. McMaster. “He’s asking for information. That’s what we do on these calls.”
Gov. McMaster also said the scientific data has to make reopening businesses safe, as state health officials say coronavirus cases haven’t peaked yet.
“Our projections that have gone up on our website at the end of today go up to just under 2,000 cases per week between now and the end of April and beginning of May,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, who’s a medical consultant for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
“We want to get the advice and guidance as a group and decide what steps we should take and when to take them,” said Gov. McMaster. “I want to assure the people of South Carolina our goal is to save lives, but also to save jobs.”
Gov. McMaster says he hasn’t joined any kind of group of governors about how to reopen their states’ economies like what governors are doing in the Northeast and on the West Coast.