California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday the creation of a task force to reopen the state, which has the largest economy in the country and the fifth-largest economy in the world. But Newsom did not give any dates or deadlines for reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Newsom announced an 80-member task force that includes California's four most recent governors, billionaire businessman, who recently ran for president, and other business leaders and lawmakers.
"We are now in a pandemic-induced recession here in the State of California," said Newsom.
Newsom said it was "sobering" to be talking about reopening the economy while the pandemic continues in the state. He said 95 people died in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to nearly 900.
Newsom says the state will need to spend up to $7 billion this year battling both the pandemic and the economic disruption it has unleashed as state budget experts have warned lawmakers to prepare for revenue loss akin to the Great Recession.
"I recognize the exuberance some of us have around entering into the next phase conversation about economic growth and economic recovery and the desire to attach dates and deadlines to those strategies," said Newsom. "I, of course, am never tempered by dates and deadlines. I am only guided by health and science, real data at a granular level, bottom-up not top-down."