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

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 19,648,084 — Total deaths: 727,024 — Total recoveries — 11,941,723Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 4,998,105 — Total deaths: 162,425 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid — Democrats, and some Republicans, criticize the move
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
Updated 3 hours ago - World

Brazil coronavirus death toll tops 100,000 and case numbers surpass 3 million

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."