Fact-checking Trump’s exaggerated claims that Democratic-run states are ‘closed’

Trump has repeatedly made such allegations over the past week. During the final presidential debate on Thursday night, he chose New York, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania and Michigan – even claiming that Michigan is too restrictive, that it has been “like a prison” .
And in an interview in Wisconsin last Saturday, Trump claimed that the state is “closed” and “closed”.

Fact first: Trump is exaggerating. While all of these states still have some significant epidemic-related restrictions, they are allowing all people to leave their homes and operate most businesses.

There is no official definition of shutdown or closure, so there is some subject to our decision. And as coronovirus conditions deteriorate nationwide, it is certainly possible that these states will re-enact stringent measures to slow the spread.

But it is clear that Trump’s vague words inflamed the seriousness and breadth of Democratic governors’ restrictions at the time he spoke.

Let’s walk through the list state by state.


Pennsylvania, which Trump said at Tuesday’s rally, “has been closed for a long time,” has not been closed.
Since July 3, all three of the state’s 67 counties have been planned for a third phase, a “green”, three-phase epidemic by Gov. Tom Tolf. The green phase includes significant restrictions on many businesses – such as 50% occupancy limits for bars, restaurants, barbershops, gyms and malls – but these businesses are up and down, not closed.

And school districts are allowed to decide for themselves whether in school or remote instruction.


Michigan is not closed. Gov. Gechen Whitmer lifted his stay order on 1 June.
The Detroit Free Press published an easy way on what happened next: “Bars and restaurants across the state soon reopened, followed by barbers and spas and hair and nail salons in mid-June. In Detroit Casinos were allowed to reopen. In early August. Schools across the state reopened this fall for in-person learning. Whitmer allowed the gym to reopen in early September and October. To allow movie theater and bowling alleys to reopen. ”
There are still capacity limitations at various types of installations. For example, restaurants and bars capped at 50% of normal capacity for indoor seating.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Michigan relied on unconstitutional, an emergency law since 1945, to enforce Whitmer’s epidemic orders. But his administration then implemented similar orders under the state’s Public Health Code.

North carolina

North Carolina, Trump claimed in the debate that one of the states “closed so tight,” has not closed. Gov. Roy Cooper moved the state into “Phase 3” on 2 October, reducing its previous restrictions.
Like other states, there are still restrictions. In mass gatherings, 25 people are confined indoors and 50 people on the street; Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity; Bars are limited to 30% outdoor capacity or 100 people, whichever is less; Gyms are limited to 30% capacity.

“The governor has implemented a demerit switch approach to seamlessly enforce sanctions, allowing people to act responsibly and keep people safe,” press secretary Dorie McMillan said in an email.

New York

Andrew Cuomo, the government, this month imposed stringent restrictions on particular communities that are virus hotspots. The new restrictions – which shut down schools and most businesses in targeted areas and have limited capacity for worship in their homes – can largely be described as locks. However, the state as a whole is not closed.
By July, all areas of the state had entered “phase four” of Cuomo’s plan to reopen, allowing most of their businesses to resume operations in some way. New York City is subject to a revised “phase four” plan that is more strict than “phase four” covering other parts of the state – New York City limits 25% capacity for indoor food, for example, instead of 50% Permitted elsewhere – but the state is still not completely closed outside the hotspots Cuomo targeted.
Cuomo relaxed some hotspot restrictions last week, while keeping others in place.


California, another state Trump said has “very tight,” in the debate, has some strict statewide borders; It prohibits the gathering of people from more than three households. Nevertheless, “shutdown” or “shut down” is an exaggeration. Even counties classified by state are placed at the highest risk level of the government. Gavin Newsom’s four-tier system is allowed to open to most businesses at limited capacity.

For example, Los Angeles County, which at the time was in the highest-risk classification, we wrote, grocery stores, malls, government offices, pools, and various other entities may open with capacity limits or other modifications. Restaurants can open for outdoor dining.

Bars, clubs and convention centers are closed. Full-person attendance at the school cannot be allowed until the county moves to the next tier and stays there for 14 days.


Friday said in an email that “Wisconsin” is neither ‘closed’ nor ‘shut down’ for Wisconsin employees, Deputy Chief of Wisconsin Tony Evers. “That said, despite the Wisconsin government being hard pressed by COVID-19. The Department of Health and Services (DHS) is doing everything within its power to stop the spread of this devastating virus.”
The Evers administration has limited indoor gatherings to more than 25% of a room or building occupied, but a state court on Friday appealed to keep those limits pending the outcome of a legal challenge. And school districts are allowed to decide whether to operate individually or with distance education. (Some have gone away amidst an increase in cases.)
The state had not had an adjournment order since mid-May, when the state Supreme Court quashed the order of Evers. The American Republican opposition, Evers, later abandoned an effort to implement new statewide regulations in May.

UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that the limitations of the Wisconsin government’s Tony Evers were imposed by the state appeals court on Friday.


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