Delaware Gov.John Carney joined Democratic governors in the region in announcing a joint plan to develop a joint economic and health strategy as portions of the region show signs of improvement.
The governors will appoint health care and economic representatives to develop the strategy.
Carney’s appointees are:
Sheila Grant, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor John Carney
Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Kurt Foreman, President and CEO, Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Carney was joined by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.
The effort is being spearheaded by Cuomo who has emerged as a national figure in the coronavirus battle.
States have to be smart, Cuomo said repeatedly during a conference call. Cuomo has reported encouraging signs that include fewer people in intensive care although the number of daily deaths remains in the hundreds.
Governors pointed to the need to coordinate business opening strategies to avoid unintended consequences such as Pennsylvanians flocking to Maryland and Delaware to buy liquor after the commonwealth closed state-owned stores.
Cuomo briefly tangled with Rhode Island Gov. Raimondo over law enforcement questioning residents with New York tags who had settled into homes in the Ocean State.
Carney said he agreed with New Jersey Gov. Murphy that an economic recovery can only happen with a health care recovery.
Carney said Delaware is still seeing an increase in positive tests and hospitalizations for COVID-19. Carney said he has been staying in touch with Govs. Murphy and Wolf.
Carney has been taking more restrictive actions that include out of state residents to return home or face a 14-day quarantine.
Cuomo said the risks of moving too rapidly have backfired with flare-ups of coronavirus cases in other countries.
Cuomo said the state plan has to fit with the “facts and circumstances” of states, rather than political considerations.
The group did not include the Republican governors of Massachusetts and Maryland or the governor of Virginia, a Democrat.
Carney has been in touch with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on issues of mutual interest. The two states share a common border. Both states have stay at home orders.
The governors denied that the partnership was politically driven
President Donald Trump has at times leveled criticism at Cuomo who has gained a following in New York and elsewhere for his daily briefings that offered grim and hopeful news as New York City became an epicenter for the pandemic.