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ICYMI: Commentary: If you want to restart the economy, trust the people

May 27, 2020 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity-South Carolina State Director Andrew Yates | Post and Courier

Amid the tragedy and hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the best of South Carolina.

High school students in the Charleston area are using 3D printers from their own homes to make face masks for health care professionals.

Restaurant owners in Travelers Rest are giving free meals to those affected by the coronavirus.

South Carolinians across our state are raising money for hundreds of nonprofit organizations.

The Palmetto State is responding with characteristic ingenuity and compassion. The same qualities that are getting us through this crisis will also guide us as our state transitions to restarting the economy.

This is why Gov. Henry McMaster’s decision to empower businesses to innovate and meet defined health and safety standards is the right approach to safely reopen our state.

Unfortunately, not everyone is following this approach.

Some policymakers claim we have to choose between long-term closure or a reckless reopening of the economy. The implication is that the only way to save lives is to keep America on lockdown.

But this is a false choice. We can open up the economy and take precautions at the same time. Otherwise, an indefinite closure will stifle the inventiveness and generosity of the American people, preventing them from applying their abilities and making decisions specific to their own lives.

The real choice is between inhibiting or empowering people.

Governments can help by setting guidelines on the right conditions for opening up the economy. But public officials at all levels must trust business owners and their customers to take the necessary precautions and to determine when they’ve met those guidelines.

South Carolinians on our own have risen to the occasion during the pandemic, and we will do it again as our state recovers. Gov. McMaster knows this. We hope the rest of America’s leaders do as well.

Click here to read the full op-ed.