Watch CBS News

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis discusses reopening Florida with Trump

President Trump met with Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis at the White House on Tuesday, as DeSantis is beginning to look toward a reopening of the Sunshine State.

While some beaches in the state reopened earlier this month, he told reporters Monday an easing of restrictions will be "methodical, slow and data-driven." DeSantis didn't issue a statewide stay-at-home order until earlier this month. DeSantis said he will announce next steps on reopening the state Wednesday.

"I've created a task force ... I'm going to be reviewing that today," he said. 

When the president was asked exactly what he learned about the virus in his daily presidential briefings in January and February, Mr. Trump said he probably knew "a lot more than the Democrats." The Washington Post reported this week the president was warned in a dozen briefings early this year about the grave threat COVID-19 posed.

"I'd have to check, I would have to check, I'd want to look as to the exact dates of warnings," the president added when pressed further.

The White House has released new guidance on testing and tracing for the coronavirus, which public health experts say are crucial for easing restrictions on Americans and businesses. The guidance places the onus for testing largely on the states, though Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, told CBS News the Trump administration is committed to ensuring all 50 states have enough tests to screen at least 2% of their populations per month.

The president asserted earlier this month the country's testing capacity is "fully sufficient" to begin revving the country, even as governors said they do not have enough tests needed to start looking toward reopening and warned of shortages of supplies for testing kits such as swabs as reagents. Governors called on the Trump administration to address supply chain issues, though the White House's guidance does not detail how the federal government will fix those issues.

Still, governors of some states have started lifting restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

Stay-at-home orders in Florida and Arizona are set to expire this week, and some shuttered businesses in Georgia and Colorado have started opening their doors again. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.