OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield told the hosts of ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he believes federal officials could be working as early as May 1 to advise as many as 20 states to reduce social distancing guidelines.

Reuters reported on Redfield’s comments.

According to John Hopkins data as of Thursday, the following states have the fewest confirmed coronavirus cases in ascending order: Wyoming (with 309), Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Hawaii, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Idaho, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, Oregon, Minnesota, Delaware, Oklahoma, Iowa and Kentucky (with 2,707).

“There are a number of counties within this country that have not experienced really any coronavirus despite testing,” Redfield said.

“There are a number of states — 19, 20 states — that really have had limited impact from it. So I think we will see some states that are, the governors feel that they’re ready, we’re poised to assist them with that reopening.”

Commentary and Opinion from The Western Journal:

The news comes less than one month after Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom on March 19 announced introduction of the nation’s first official stay-at-home order, mandating closure of so-called non-essential business, barring large gatherings and encouraging decreased public activity for state residents.

Quickly taken up by 41 more states nationwide, similar stay-at-home orders would apply the brakes to a booming U.S. economy, as Fox News reported, prompting the loss of more than 22 million jobs almost overnight.

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Congress acted on a bipartisan basis on March 27 to stem the tides of economic fallout, passing a historic $2.2 trillion relief package meant to bolster the finances of struggling American families, companies and government response efforts.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, however, have been adamant in suggesting legislated economic relief would only serve as a short-term band-aid for economic losses suffered amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

For the economy to be revived, Trump and his allies argued, it would sooner or later be required that the nation re-open for business in a more rapid fashion. Labor’s re-entry into the workforce could serve as a much-needed jolt of a defibrillator to bring the economy back to life.

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But the idea was not received warmly — and, as USA Today reported, Trump’s claims of “total” federal government authority over economic re-opening were met with fierce opposition.

Changing his tune Thursday, however, Trump returned to the table with a tranched plan to re-open the U.S. economy in three phases, each carried out when governors and their public health advisers felt the time was right for their respective states.

Gov. Abbott Says Texas Is Reopening Next Week: ‘Texas Is the Economic Engine of America’

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will begin to reopen his state’s economy starting next week.

Abbott added that the U.S. depends on Texas’s success to thrive.

Abbott encourages other states’ governors to follow Texas’s lead, and he is happy to share best practices for safely reopening their economies.

Abbott explained, “As you and your listeners probably know, Texas has always been ranked number one in the United States for creating jobs and for leading in economic development and for gross domestic product. Texas is the economic engine of America.”

“For America to get going, Texas has to get going. By God, Texas is getting going now.”

🚨 POLL: Should the U.S. Economy Reopen?

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“So what I rolled out yesterday is this massive team making sure Texas is going to take a lead as we open up the state, and Texas is doing business again,” Abbott said. “What the team is doing is they are working from now all the way until April 27th.”

“On April 27th, we will come out with recommendations for certain types of businesses that can open up in strategic, safe ways to make sure we’re not spreading the coronavirus, but also to make sure we’re going to be able to get people going back to work in May. Then, on top of that, we’re not even waiting until May, because I announced several proposals on top of that. One is you have too many doctors and nurses who have been sidelined as a result of an order to try free up hospital rooms and what’s called PPE [personal protective equipment]—the masks and gloves and all that kind of stuff.”

“We wanted to make sure we would be prepared for the worst case scenario in the event we did have a spike in the coronavirus in Texas. Well it turned out all these forecasts that were made about all the dire circumstances and results that could have existed here—like what we saw in New York, like what we saw in New Jersey, like what we saw in some other states—they didn’t happen in Texas. As a result, we have an abundance of hospital rooms, we have an abundance of PPE, we have an abundance of availability for doctors and nurses to go back to work and begin to perform procedures that their patients desperately need.”

“So, allow more surgery to take place. I also opened up our parks, but I did something else, because we know that one sector hit the hardest right now has been the retail sector. There are retail businesses going out of business and we cannot allow that to happen. So what I did is we allowed what’s called ‘Retail to Go.’ Retail to Go works exactly the way restaurants have been working in the state of Texas in this regard: Restaurants are closed but it doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to serve people. What restaurants are able to do is you can place an order with a restaurant and you can go to the restaurant and pick it up or they can deliver it to your home.”

More from Breitbart:

It’s worked well without spreading the coronavirus, so we want the exact same thing with regard to every retail outlet. Imagine any type of store—a clothing store, a jewelry story, whatever kind of store—we want to make sure that every retail outlet in the state of Texas is able to sell their products. You can order their products online or on the phone, however you want to order it, and then go and just pick it up or have them deliver it to you. This will get so many more retailers employing people again and opening their doors back again and in the future they’re going to be able to start making some money and it will get the products people want into their hands.”

Abbott explained the timeline of events next, beginning with reopening the parks in the state on Monday, then the elective medical procedures and surgeries on Wednesday, then Retail to Go on Friday.

“The first thing that happens is on Monday, the parks reopen on Monday. I would have done it beginning today but we had to get all the parks employees and staff up and running to be able to deal with reopening,” Abbott said. “So, parks open up again on Monday. On the surgery, I had a pre-existing executive order that was set to end on the 21st ,so I will allow that to end on its own terms on the 21st, and on the surgery it will begin on the 22nd when these doctors and nurses are able to begin performing more surgeries. Retail to Go begins next Friday, so six days from now—that will give these retailers the time to figure out the strategies on how to operate but also more importantly to begin advertising in connection with their consumers so they can let their consumers know they are going to be open and try to start—they can begin, if you would, the process of selling to consumers right now so the consumers can start coming up next Friday to start picking up everything they might start buying this weekend.”

Meanwhile, Abbott’s strike force is working on a plan for every element of the Texas economy and will report back to the governor on Monday, April 27, on how to get everything reopened soon.

“We have a strike force that is focused on every business sector that exists in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “They are getting information from those business sectors about the best strategies those business sectors think that they can use to make sure that they can safely reopen without spreading the coronavirus. Those ideas will be run by a team of doctors who will hone those ideas to make sure that we are going to be able to open those businesses without transmitting the coronavirus. Let me just give you a couple ideas. One that [we] will be looking at is allowing restaurants to begin opening up part of the inside of a restaurant for consumers to come into the restaurant and sit down and dine. Obviously, we can’t have people as close together as they were in the past, but that’s what this next ten days is for, is to figure out what strategies can be used. Another thing I’ve got to tell you that I hear more than anything else is what people want to open up is a hair salon. Hair salons, candidly, is a location where there could be massive transmission of different types of things—it could be a cold, it could be the flu, or it could be the coronavirus. So we’ve got to find a way where these hair and nail and other types of salons can open up in ways where they have customers come in but also in ways where we make sure they do not transmit the coronavirus.”

Abbott explained next what the return to normal looks like. He said that things will not be completely normal again until there is a vaccine in the end, but that along the way the approval of various therapeutic treatments of coronavirus will help the country and Texas adjust to confronting the disease.

Gov. Abbott praised President Trump’s plan that the White House rolled out Thursday evening at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

Abbott explained that the Texas plan is “somewhat aligned with” the White House plan.