President Donald Trump declared Monday that he has the power to “open up” states and relax social-distancing practices adopted to combat the coronavirus outbreak, not governors.

He didn’t elaborate on how he reached his conclusion. The Trump administration issued guidance March 16 recommending Americans isolate themselves from one another to curb the spread of the virus, days after many governors, municipal leaders, businesses and families had already adopted the practices themselves.

It isn’t clear if the country would comply should Trump demand people return to work and school, particularly if the outbreak hasn’t yet abated.

“It is the decision of the president, for many good reasons,” Trump said in a subsequent tweet. He didn’t list any.

Trump said he would make a decision “soon” on re-opening, “in conjunction with the governors and input from others.” He said last week he plans to name a panel of doctors and business people on Tuesday to advise him on restoring the U.S. economy following the outbreak.

But the president’s relationship with governors during the outbreak has been complicated and oftentimes prickly. He has insisted that governors, not the federal government, bear primary responsibility for keeping their hospitals supplied and staving off the coronavirus. And he’s declined to criticize governors who have refused to issue “stay-at-home” orders to their citizens to curb the spread of the virus.

“We have a thing called the Constitution, which I cherish, number one,” Trump said on April 4, when asked about the holdout governors, who are all Republicans. “Number two, those governors -- I know every one of them -- they’re doing a great job. They’re being very, very successful in what they’re doing. And as you know, I want the governors to be running things.”

Governors have complained they’ve been forced to bid against the Federal Emergency Management Agency for supplies, and Democratic governors who have faulted the federal government’s response to the outbreak have suffered Trump’s wrath, enduring personal insults and criticism on Twitter and in his daily news conferences.

--With assistance from Larry Liebert and Jordan Fabian.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.