WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Warren Davidson has been taking part in a presidential task force to reopen the American economy, including this past week when he met with President Donald Trump and some of the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives to discuss how to best reopen the economy and how to balance the health and economic concerns.
In an interview this week, Davidson said there were approximately 15 people involved in the meeting including Trump, spaced apart in a dining room at the White House. Davidson said Trump had each of them go around and discuss public health and economic concerns.
Davidson said he specifically spoke about concerns of public health orders violating Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, such as regarding religion, the right of the people to assemble, the right of the people to bear arms, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process.
“The government has appropriated a use of a large (number) of resources in this case,” Davidson said.
The other thing Davidson highlighted was stimulus funding in regard to Congress appropriating nearly $3 trillion in relief funding.
“There’s nobody that’s truly lending us the money,” Davidson said, saying they should not do that in an unlimited way and that it will “undermine the value of the U.S. dollar.”
“I think it’s very important as we ponder phase four approaches,” Davidson said. “We can’t just print an unlimited amount of money.”
Davidson said the task force is a sounding board for the president, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet secretaries, to hear from members of the task force on how to “transition back to greatness.”
“The trend was great and then COVID-19 hit, and it’s been very disruptive for all of our lives,” Davidson said. “We’ve had great dialogue with the whole administration.”
Davidson said other members of the task force discussed concerns in regard to privacy. Davidson said they have gone over a number of documents with suggestions on how to reopen the economy, and he said “one of the most draconian” ideas was people being issued digital certificates every day after testing for the virus that they could use to show that they do not have the virus. Davidson said that was a privacy concern and also a concern that one could be “locked out of all civic life.”
“You can protect privacy and public health,” Davidson said.
Davidson called the distinctions between essential and non-essential businesses “arbitrary,” saying, “We do need to get people free to make their own decisions.”
When asked about public health concerns, he said the disease was stable and people have learned how to respond to the virus.
“We don’t have overrun hospitals, certainly not in Ohio,” Davidson said. He said that hospitals in New York are not currently overrun anymore either and that National Guard and FEMA facilities are being taken down.
Davidson also used Germany as an example, saying they are opening up more businesses, but it was not as “politically polarized.”
“They had a surge, they responded,” Davidson said. “It’s just not being as politicized as it is here.”
“You don’t have a system that is overwhelming our medical system and you look at … how you react to that,” Davidson said. “We’ve learned a lot about how to react to that and how to treat it to make it less fatal.”
Davidson also suggested that, instead of shutting down the entire economy, the government could have focused on hot spots of the virus.
Davidson, of Troy, brings over 15 years of experience owning and operating manufacturing businesses to this committee. Davidson sits on the House Financial Services Committee. He is a member of the subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets and also sits on the Task Force on Financial Technology.
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