President Trump taps a Connecticut Congressman to help advise him on when to reopen the U.S. economy


(WTNH) — News 8’s political correspondent Jodi Latina sat down with 1st District Congressman John Larson for an exclusive interview Thursday after President Donald Trump asked Larson to assist with his administration’s plans for reopening the country’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic surge is over.

“Well anytime you’re called by the President of the United States in a crisis of this nature of course you want to help in any way that you can,” Rep. Larson explained.

Connecticut Congressman John Larson says despite strong disagreements with President Donald Trump on many issues, he is ready to work. Larson was asked to be part of a bipartisan Task Force to re-open the U.S. economy.

In a conference call Thursday, the President discussed national benchmarks for states and how they could reopen. Governors will be the final decision-makers.

It was good to have a seat at the table and give Connecticut’s perspective.

– U.S. Congressman John Larson, (D) Connecticut

The 10-term congressman joined nearly 50 lawmakers and business leaders who will help decide when and how to reopen the U.S. economy. Connecticut has 350,000 unemployment claims as of Thursday. Businesses have been closed for more than a month. The economy has been hit hard.

“The goal here is to provide security and certainty and to provide a system that people are going to be confident in that when they go out they are safe,” Congressman John Larson.

One controversial idea coming out of the American Enterprise Institute – a think tank in Washington D.C. with ties to experts in Connecticut – includes monitoring people who are sick and in voluntary quarantine by using cell phone GPS tracking.

Congressman John Larson says, “You are going to have to take a look at – without giving up our civil liberties – what is it that we are going to need to do medically to track cases where we know the illness exists? And what technology is available for us to be able to do that?”

Republican lawmakers would like the economy to open sooner rather than later, saying the impact on the economy may be worse than the deadly virus. Democrats say when it does reopen a lot more testing needs to be done.

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