Truth-checking Trump’s exaggerated claims that Democratic-run states are ‘shut down’

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Trump has repeatedly made such accusations previously week. On the ultimate presidential debate on Thursday evening, he singled out New York, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan — even claiming that Michigan is so restrictive, it has been “like a jail.”
And in a Wisconsin interview final Saturday, Trump claimed that the state is “shut down” and “locked down.”

Information First: Trump is exaggerating. Although all of those states nonetheless have some vital pandemic-related restrictions, they’re all permitting individuals to go away their properties and permitting most companies to function.

There isn’t a official definition of shutdown or closure, so there’s some subjectivity to our verdict right here. And because the coronavirus scenario worsens across the nation, it’s definitely doable that these states will re-impose stricter measures to attempt to sluggish the unfold.

Nevertheless it’s clear that Trump’s imprecise phrases inflated the severity and breadth of Democratic governors’ restrictions on the time he spoke.

Let’s undergo the checklist state by state.


Pennsylvania, which Trump stated at a Tuesday rally has been “shut down lengthy sufficient,” isn’t shut down.
Since July 3, all 67 counties within the state have been within the third stage, “inexperienced,” of Gov. Tom Wolf’s three-stage pandemic plan. The inexperienced section contains vital restrictions on many companies — resembling 50% occupancy limits for bars, eating places, barbershops, gyms and malls — however these companies are up and operating, not shut down.

And college districts are permitted to determine for themselves whether or not to have in-school or distant instruction.


Michigan isn’t shut down. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted her stay-at-home order on June 1.
The Detroit Free Press printed a helpful rundown on what occurred subsequent: “Bars and eating places throughout the state reopened shortly after the order was lifted, adopted by barbershops, spas and hair and nail salons in mid-June. Casinos in Detroit had been allowed to reopen in early August. Faculties throughout the state reopened this fall for in-person studying. And Whitmer allowed gyms to reopen in early September and film theaters and bowling alleys to reopen in early October.”
There are nonetheless capability limits on numerous sorts of institutions. For instance, eating places and bars are capped at 50% of the same old capability for indoor seating.
Earlier this month, Michigan’s Supreme Court docket struck down, as unconstitutional, an emergency regulation from 1945 that Whitmer had relied on to impose pandemic orders. However her administration then imposed comparable orders beneath the state’s public well being code.

North Carolina

North Carolina, one of many states Trump claimed on the debate is “shut down so tight,” isn’t shut down. Gov. Roy Cooper moved the state to “section 3” on October 2, easing his earlier restrictions.
There are, as in different states, restrictions nonetheless in place. Mass gatherings are restricted to 25 individuals indoors and 50 individuals outside; eating places are restricted to 50% capability; bars are restricted to 30% outside capability or 100 individuals, whichever is much less; gyms are restricted to 30% capability.

“The Governor has applied a dimmer swap method to easing restrictions responsibly that permits individuals to get again to work and transfer our economic system ahead whereas holding individuals protected,” press secretary Dory MacMillan stated in an e-mail.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has this month imposed strict restrictions on explicit communities which are virus hotspots. The brand new restrictions — which closed faculties and most companies within the focused areas and sharply restricted capability at their homes of worship — may pretty be described as lockdowns. Nonetheless, the state as an entire isn’t shut down.
As of July, the entire state’s areas had entered “section 4” of Cuomo’s reopening plan, permitting most of their companies to renew operations indirectly. New York Metropolis is topic to a modified “section 4” plan that’s extra strict than the “section 4” that covers different components of the state — the New York Metropolis restrict for indoor eating is 25% capability, for instance, somewhat than the 50% allowed elsewhere — however the state remains to be not shut to an entire shutdown outdoors of the hotspots Cuomo has focused.
Cuomo final week eased a few of the hotspot restrictions whereas holding others in place.


California, one other state Trump stated on the debate is “shut down so tight,” does have some strict statewide limits; it bans gatherings involving individuals from greater than three households. Nonetheless, “shut down” or “closed” stays an exaggeration. Even counties categorized by the state on the highest threat stage on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier system are allowed to have most companies open at restricted capability.

For instance, in Los Angeles County, which was within the highest-risk classification on the time we wrote this, grocery shops, malls, authorities places of work, swimming pools and numerous different entities can open with capability limits or different modifications. Eating places can open for outside eating.

Bars, golf equipment and conference facilities are closed. Faculties can’t permit full in-person attendance till the county progresses to the following tier and stays there for 14 days.


Wisconsin is “neither ‘closed’ nor ‘shut down,'” Sarah Hoye, deputy chief of employees to Gov. Tony Evers, stated in a Friday e-mail. “That stated, Wisconsin continues to be hit exhausting by COVID-19 regardless of Gov. Evers and the Division of Well being Companies (DHS) doing all the pieces inside their energy to cease the unfold of this devastating virus.”
Evers’ administration has restricted indoor gatherings to not more than 25% of a room or constructing’s occupancy, however a state appeals courtroom on Friday put these limits on maintain pending the end result of a authorized problem. And college districts are allowed to determine whether or not to function in particular person or with distant instruction. (Some have gone distant amid a surge in circumstances.)
The state has not had a stay-at-home mandate since mid-Might, when the state Supreme Court docket struck down Evers’ order. Amid Republican opposition, Evers deserted an try and impose new statewide guidelines later in Might.

UPDATE: This text has been up to date to replicate that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ limits on indoor gatherings had been placed on maintain by a state appeals courtroom Friday.

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