Apr 12, 2020 - Health

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

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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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Go deeper (2 min. read)ArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health

Notre Dame president: Science alone "cannot provide the answer" to reopening

The Main Administration Building and Golden Dome on the campus of University of Notre Dame before a football game in 2018. Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

University of Notre Dame President John Jenkins wrote in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday that science alone "cannot provide the answer" regarding the school's decision to bring students back to campus for its fall semester.

The state of play: Jenkins said that the decision also hinged on "moral value," arguing that "the mark of a healthy society is its willingness to bear burdens and take risks for the education and well-being of its young. Also worthy of risk is the research that can enable us to deal with the challenges we do and will face."

The pandemic’s health side effects are growing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nearly half of Americans said that either they or someone in their household has skipped or delayed needed medical care because of the coronavirus, according to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: Shutting down elective medical care may have been necessary, particularly in coronavirus hotspots, but will have lasting effects on some patients.