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Massachusetts joins Northeast group looking at how to re-emerge from coronavirus nightmare

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced this afternoon that Massachusetts has joined New Jersey and five other states in what could be a coordinated effort to slowly re-open each state's economies on a timetable dictated by public-health concerns rather than the whims of the president's daughter and son-in-law:

Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, Delaware Governor John Carney and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo today announced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is joining the multi-state council to restore the economy and get people back to work. This announcement builds on the states’ ongoing regional approach to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coordinating group – comprised of one health expert, one economic development expert and the respective Chief of Staff from each state -- will work together to develop a fully integrated regional framework to gradually lift the states’ stay at home orders while minimizing the risk of increased spread of the virus.

The council will create this framework using every tool available to accomplish the goal of easing social isolation without triggering renewed spread - including testing, contact tracing, treatment and social distancing – and will rely on the best available scientific, statistical, social and economic information to manage and evaluate those tools.

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Comments

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Voting closed 85

Thank God the real leaders are now taking charge

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Voting closed 91

New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island don't belong in a sentence with "leadership" unless prefixed with "incompetent".

There's a good reason why those states have been hemorrhaging people and jobs to NY and MA for decades. If you aren't leaving the northeast for the sun belt NY and MA have a lot more to offer than NJ, CT, and RI do.

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Voting closed 9

It was closed? So the hundreds of dollars I've charged to consumer credit cards this month are a myth?

Why can't government leaders just be honest and say "We're not going to actively decide who gets to operate a storefront and who doesn't in the near future, unless, of course, you want to sell alcohol, in which case, you're still screwed?"

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but yeah, the fact that you were able to use Amazon doesn't constitute proof that the economy is open.

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Voting closed 57

I don't think I've spent more than $100 buying from them in my adult life, unless you wish to include the hundreds of dollars I've spent at the Whole Foods hot bar near my work.

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Paying websites to view their content doesn’t count.

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Voting closed 33

The finest works of Adriana Sage are available gratis.

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There are jobs that can't be done from home, and people who held those jobs are out of work and suffering. People who worked in meat processing plants. Airline flight attendants. People who worked in retail clothing stores. Construction workers. People who worked in factories manufacturing "non-essential" items. "Non essential" doesn't mean "frills," it means things like shoes. Or mixing bowls for your kitchen. Some rational, fact-based way of balancing the costs -- to those people directly and to the entire economy that supports and uses their work product -- against the risks of further contagion, needs to be put into place.

It seems to be hard for you to view the economy in terms other than the goods and services you personally buy directly, but try.

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Voting closed 127

I hope that we've all learned a lesson in the smoke and mirrors of contemporary American economics so that somebody isn't suffering after a mere month of not working because of a virus.

You think I don't think about this stuff? You think I don't think about how I'm dependent on a business transaction with someone else for a place to go home and be out of the rain and sleep? You think I don't notice that costs for things I buy get higher while my wages don't? You think the Facebook feed seen by me, a 36-year old who has spent his adult life in an expensive city, isn't filled with anecdotes and memes about expenses?

As with the health insurance bit from a few days ago, I've presented an honest account of how government has possibly made things worse instead of better, and you've used both occasions to indict me. Why, I'm not clear.

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Voting closed 10

You think I don't think about this stuff?

From the sound of your last post, no.

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Voting closed 56

You'll believe what you want to believe.

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Voting closed 10

You'll believe what you want to believe.

WTF is that supposed to mean?

You said this:

It was closed? So the hundreds of dollars I've charged to consumer credit cards this month are a myth?

Don't let me put words into your mouth, but you seem to believe that the economy is fully open because you put a few bucks on your CC. Are you that stupid?

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You are a pompous blowhard and I’m glad you’re being taken to task on it.

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That's news to me?

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People who work in meat processing plants are working with inadequate protection and getting COVID-19 because of it at high rates, since those who don't feel well can't afford to stay home. Airline flight attendants are being forced to work without masks "so they don't alarm passengers" - the passengers, of course, being alarmed that the damn flight attendants aren't wearing masks.

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Voting closed 35

Your point that airlines and meat processing plants are failing to adequately protect their employees is correct, but there are also layoffs.

Meat packing plants closing, with staff out of work:
https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/13/8331104...

Airline flight attendants laid off
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/air-canada-lays-off-over-5-000-flight-attend...

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Voting closed 13

We've all heard about how 50% of Americans don't have $500 to cover an emergency expense, much less the 3-6 months of after tax savings recommended to survive a real emergency (like this situation, a layoff for other reasons, health problem especially if you don't have short and long term disability insurance etc.). Another 30% of America might get through that 3 -6 months - but then they'd be broke too. Yes, there are many problems such as health care costs, stagnant wages, the death of traditional pensions and more that you can cite, but it's astounding that in the world's richest country that 80% of America isn't disciplined enough to prepare for an event that is highly likely to occur in their lives - not the pandemic - but some other hardship. And you can blame all you want for some portion of the country being this unprepared, but nowhere near 80%. For many/most, that's a function of the ever increasing size of American houses (for fewer people on average), a new often leased car in the driveway, an iPhone in every pocket, cable subscriptions out the wazoo, splendid trips, vacations and weddings, dinner out on a regular basis and much, much more. A portion of America is indeed broke through no fault of their own. The majority are broke because they can't keep their wallet in their pocket.

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Voting closed 23

I was at Star Market yesterday in Dedham - the cashiers, cop and front manager were all not wearing masks. Policy or personal decision? Me and 90% of the customers were all masked up.

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nt

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I am wondering if Star Market has a policy of no masks so customers 'feel safe' or something or if these people all just blew off best recommended practices?

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If management was pushing a “no mask” policy and the employees disagreed, you would have heard about that by now.

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Trump wants to protect his personal interest and assets like reopening his hotels, he doesn’t have to walk to a train station hop on a train and go to work and have to worry about catching the virus.

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"We're not going to actively decide who gets to operate a storefront and who doesn't in the near future, unless, of course, you want to sell alcohol, in which case, you're still screwed?"

Alcohol sales are allowed in MA. Packies were deemed "essential".

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Voting closed 11

And the cap on them. That will still exist after May 6.

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How is Rhode Island in this consortium? It's gonna be genuinely hard to take any considerations/advise/statistics, from a state that can't get out of it's own way.

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It probably makes sense for a bunch of states that normally have a lot of people traveling between them to coordinate their lockdown easing.

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Voting closed 35

Would prefer it did not come to this, and I think we are not there yet, and I don't even want to think about having to be there, but I have to: if a non-violent dissolution of the United States into various states would need to become part of the conversation. Trump has clearly been trying to kill more people in blue states. That is just obvious af. Am I saying Trump gets the gravity of that action? Fuck no, I am not saying that. I am simply saying he is DOING THAT.

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Voting closed 47

It has and it’s well past time. Why aren’t more people talking about this?

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Some not very nice people tried this 159 years ago and it didn't go so well.

It's unconstitutional for states to leave the Union. Once you're in, you're in.

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Voting closed 5

South Carolina didn't try to secede non-violently at the start of the Civil War. They attacked and captured Fort Sumter. Their attack and the federal call for troops from every state to combat this, including from southern states on the line about secession, led to the full establishment of the Confederacy as a political and military entity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Sumter

Also, polls suggest that if a state holds a popular vote to secede, and negotiates such a secession w/ the rest of the Union, that is the federal government and/or the 49 other states, it would be accepted by our citizens. A process much like when Quebec held a popular vote to decide to secede from Canada or not. Democratic governance of the US suggests that the will of the people would be followed, all theoretical, of course.

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Of course he would support the same principles if the smart states voted to secede, wouldn't he?

Nah.

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You think Mr. Putin hasn't considered this?

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You need to be.

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They also need to be.

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but I see your point, too.

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VT and NH have Republican governors. Baker is too, but he's clearly been involved in cooperative work with New York (that Patriots shipment).

But I don't think that was the major factor here. I think it was a matter of timing and willingness to commit. Given Trump's assertions of ultimate power and increasingly frequent statements that he wants to "open the economy" (agreed with Will, it's an idiotic phrase), it was important to make a statement soon - and it was important for that statement to mean something, which meant partners who were willing to commit to stand together in a meaningful way. So they went with a group that have committed to coordinate reopening schools, transit, workplaces, etc. And this group is open to new members. Better to start with a solid base and either stand firm, or potentially grow, then either wait the message past the point where it's timely, or start with a shaky coalition that may erode.

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Hooray for the Coalition of Adults! (tm)

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Voting closed 23

understand the end of this pandemic is years away. we have to open the economy and try to get infected as much as possible in order to gain herd immunity.

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