Apr 12, 2020 - Health

Trump to use "facts and instincts" in move toward reopening U.S.

 President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 6, 2020, in Washington, DC.
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday night "a lot of facts and a lot of instinct" will help him decide when to recommend reopening the United States following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: The president said last month he would "love" to have the country "opened up, and just raring to go" by Easter, but he has since extended "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30 amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

  • Trump's aides told Axios' Jonathan Swan they're looking to reopen the U.S. "sooner rather than later," possibly by May 1, based on encouraging projections.

What he's saying: "I think it's going to be the toughest decision that I've ever made and hopefully that I ever will have to make," Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a telephone interview.

  • "I hope I'm going to make the right decision. I will be basing it on a lot of very smart people, a lot of professionals, doctors and business leaders. There are a lot of things that go into a decision like that. And it's going to be based on a lot of facts and a lot of instincts also."
"People want to get back to work. ... We are setting up a council of some of the most distinguished leaders in virtually every field, including politics and business and medical. And we'll be making that decision fairly soon."

Where it stands: There were more than 529,000 infections and over 20,600 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. as of early Sunday — more than any other country, per Johns Hopkins.

  • 2.6 million Americans have been tested and more than 32,000 people have recovered from the virus, according to the university's data.

Go deeper: Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

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