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Newsom says California will release plan on lifting virus constraints

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he will announce a detailed plan on Tuesday for lifting coronavirus restrictions, a decision he says will be made without “political pressure” in an apparent message to President Donald Trump declaring himself the ultimate decision-maker of when states can reopen.

Newsom provided few details of his plan on Monday, saying it would be an “incremental release of the stay-at-home orders,” a decision made in coordination with the governors of Washington and Oregon that will use “science to guide our decision-making and not political pressure.”

On Monday, Trump posted a message on Twitter noting that some people are saying that it’s up to the governors to open up the states, not the president or the federal government. “Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect,” Trump wrote. “It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons.”

Newsom and Trump have been political enemies, clashing about abortion rights and the environment, but both men have praised the other’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, and Trump has even used some of Newsom’s comments in a campaign ad.

On Monday, Newsom continued nursing that delicate dynamic by seemingly expressing his independence from Trump while also stressing their partnership.

“I have have all the confidence in the world moving forward that we will maintain that collaborative spirit in terms of the decision-making that we make here within the state of California as it relates to a road map for recovery,” Newsom said.

California has more than 23,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 680 deaths. But the number of hospitalizations, including those placed in intensive care, have held steady in recent days; a sign the virus might not be as catastrophic in California as state officials had feared.

ICU hospitalizations rose 2.9% on Sunday to 1,178, leaving thousands of beds available should there be a surge of patients.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.