Raskin Introduces Plan to Reopen America

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D) speaks at a virtual town hall with Montgomery County councilmembers.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D), who represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, introduced the Reopen America Act of 2020 (RAA) to “reopen” America after COVID-19 is under control. 

“Look, we need a real plan to reopen America. The president of the United States offered his thoughts on this yesterday, which were basically a set of vague criteria just put out into the ether for the states to consider in terms of reopening,” Raskin said at a virtual town hall meeting with Montgomery County councilmembers. 

“We need a real plan with real federal leadership.”

Raskin said he introduced the RAA Friday morning with Florida U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala and other representatives. 

Raskin said states will be ready to reopen when the rate of COVID-19 transmission is declining, or “below one,” instead of above one. Above one means that for every person who is infected, they will infect one or more people. Below one means each infected person will infect less than one person. 

When this happens and hospitals are able to meet medical needs without being overwhelmed, and public health precautions like face coverings are enforced, states will be invited to apply to the HHS for approval for reopening. Then, if approved, the federal government will pay the costs for a state to reopen. 

“That’s a real plan that will help us get back to work and puts the federal government in the position of coordinating this and using the best science we have built into our plan,” Raskin said. 

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