The Governors of Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware today made a regional pact via teleconference to begin developing a coordinated, consistent plan for safely and strategically reactivating the area’s economy. Massachusetts joined the partnership this afternoon.
While the call did not reveal any potential outline of a plan or a timeline, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he expects results, based on shared data, facts, and science, ASAP.
The plan will be developed by advisory groups consisting of public health and economic development experts in each state and by each Governor’s chief of staff.
In Connecticut, Governor Lamont has charged AdvanceCT, a nonprofit economic development organization, with creating a Reopen CT Advisory Board (see attached news release). The Board will be co-chaired by Lamont’s friend and former Pepsico Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, who will serve as the liaison to the business community, and Dr. Albert Ko, a Yale epidemiologist. Other members include Ezekiel Emanuel from the University of Pennsylvania; Scott Gottlieb, former chief of the Food & Drug Administration in the Trump administration; Paul Mounds, Chief of Staff to Governor Lamont; and the commissioners of CT’s Departments of Economic and Community Development and Administrative Services, David Lehman and Josh Geballe, respectively. The Advisory Board, which will be fleshed out over the next few days, will be developing an action plan within a few weeks. The Board will be coordinating with the regional state compact to determine what the testing criteria and timeline will be for reactivating business operations.
Asked by a reporter what role he thinks the Legislature should play in this process, Governor Lamont said a “collaborative” role and said he is in frequent contact with legislative leaders.
On this morning’s phone call each of the governors emphasized the importance of not pulling the trigger too early and of coming up with a smart, targeted, informed plan that, first and foremost, protects public health and safety and is designed by experts and based on facts and science.
“There is no On/Off switch, “ Cuomo said. “It is over when we have a vaccine, which experts say is in 12-18 months.”
In the meantime, Governor Lamont said Connecticut must continue to maintain social distancing and discipline.