'The authority is total': Trump says he can force governors to reopen the country
President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at the White House. (AFP / Roberto SCHMIDT)

At President Donald Trump's latest White House coronavirus task force briefing, reporters pressed him on his claims that he can reopen the economy, pointing out that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution clearly leaves the matter to state governments.

Trump's response was to utterly deny this was the case — and to insist that he had the ultimate authority to decide the issue.

"When somebody's the president of the United States, the authority is total ... and the governors know that," said Trump. "The authority of the president of the United States is total."

Trump's proclamation comes as multiple states begin drafting guidelines on when they will allow nonessential business activity to resume — potentially setting up a clash between federal and state governments.