President Donald Trump says his instincts will play a key role in his decision about when to reopen the country.
The Commander-in-chief called into Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Piro on Saturday evening, where he declared that he would decide ‘reasonably soon’ on a date when people can get back work.
‘We have to get our country get back! People want to get back to work,’ he told Piro in the phone interview.
‘We’re setting up a council with distinguished leaders in virtually every field, including politics and business and medical, and we’ll be making a decision fairly soon,’ he continued.
But while Trump declared that he would obtain ‘a lot of facts’ during consultations with such leaders, he added: ‘Whether you like it or not – there is a certain instinct to it!’
Trump has currently extended distancing guidelines through April 30 in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 20,000 Americans.
He previously wanted to have most people back at work by Easter, before widespread outrage from doctors forced him to push back the date.
President Trump called into Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine Piro on Saturday evening, where he declared that he would decide ‘reasonably soon’ on a date when people can go back work. He is pictured on Friday
Experts say the current shutdown threatens to cause an economic catastrophe to rival the Great Depression, which stretched on for much of the 1930s and saw 20 per cent of Americans out of work.
In the past three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment, with lockdown orders causing the closures of tens of thousands of businesses.
Trump told Judge Jeanine that there was no other option other than the country’s mass shutdown becuase the coronavirus ‘came upon us’ ‘so incredibly’.
‘If we would’ve bulled through it it would’ve been unacceptable, so we’ve all had to go through a lot, but we did it the right way,’ he stated.
Trump also predicted that the economy will rebound when businesses are back open.
‘A lot of things are happening, I think the stimulus coupled with this pent-up demand of everybody wanting to get back out and go back to work, I think we’re going to have a tremendous surge,’ he stated.
‘Its going to be like a rocket ship, I really believe that’.
The COVID-19 outbreak has already killed more than 20,000 Americans. Bodies are moved to and from refrigerated morgue trailers in New York on Friday
In the past three weeks, more than 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment, with lockdown orders causing the closures of tens of thousands of businesses. An eerily quiet Times Square is pictured on Wednesday
‘Without question it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make,’ President Trump said of the decision to reopen the country
In a separate part of the interview a somber-sounding Trump said the country will be rebuilt ‘in honor of all those who have perished’.
‘We were doing things that this country had never done before in terms of our success, and we’re going to rebuild it again in honor of all those who have perished,’ he declared.
Trump’s interview with Judge Jeanine awkwardly came just three hours after he hit out at her network in a Twitter post.
In a tweet posted early Saturday evening, Trump wrote: ‘Watching Fox News on weekend afternoons is a total waste of time. We now have some great alternatives, like OANN’.
OANN, or One America News Network, is another conservative station which is often more complimentary of the President.
It’s unclear what prompted Trump’s attack on Fox, but much the media has been roundly criticizing him in recent weeks for his allegedly delayed reaction to the COVID-19 threat.
Trump says he will unveil economic comeback task force on Tuesday with business executives and governors from BOTH parties
Trump told reporters Friday that he would unveil the economic comeback task force on Tuesday, but there is already widespread speculation about who will be included on the team.
So far, predictions have included White House adviser Ivanka Trump, chief of staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
Trump said his new task force, which will focus on when and how to reopen the country as it battles the coronavirus, and would likely meet by teleconference because he doesn’t want people traveling right now.
He said party membership was not a consideration.
‘The one thing I didn’t ask is are you a Republican or Democrat? Hard to believe, but I didn’t ask,’ he said of the group’s membership.
He said governors will be included and mentioned several Democratic governors he’s become friends with because of the outbreak, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
‘I’ve actually become friends with some of the Democrat governors that I wouldn’t really have had the privilege of getting to know, Trump said.
‘Governor Murphy of New Jersey is a very liberal guy. I’m not. But we’ve had a great relationship. As you know, I call him John Bell. John Bel Edwards. Sort of a cool name from Louisiana. I have a very good relationship with him,’ he added.
He noted he and Newsom disagree on many things but have become friends: ‘He wants open borders I want people to come into our country legally. But I’ve gotten very friendly with Gavin Newsom. He’s done a very good job here.’
The interview comes comes after Trump told media on Friday that his decision about when to reopen the country will be the biggest he’s ever had to make.
Public health officials are warning that if Americans go back to school and work too soon, the nation could face a second wave of infection and additional economic setbacks.
Trump mused about the topic at his press briefing, just before Easter – when he had earlier suggested the nation might be ready to reopen.
‘I don’t know if I’ve had a bigger decision than that, if you think, right? I mean think of that decision, somebody said, ‘It’s totally up to the president,’ and it is. I don’t know if I’ve had a bigger decision,’ Trump said.
A pedestrian walks across Water Street empty of traffic, Friday, April 10, 2020, in the financial district of New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death
Beaches on the Pacific Ocean lie empty after Los Angeles issued a stay-at-home order and closed beaches and state parks, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Manhattan Beach, California, U.S., April 2, 2020
In fact it is governors and mayors who have imposed stay-home orders on many American citizens, and Trump has conspicuously refused to demand that all states impose them. But states and localities are certain to take guidance from the White House, and the president has many levers of power.
‘But I’m going to surround myself with the greatest minds. Not only the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason and we’re going to make a decision and hopefully it’s going to be the right decision. I will say this, we want to get it open as soon as we can,’ Trump said of his task force.
Public health officials that reopening before therapeutic treatments or strategies are in order could lead to another outbreak. Decreases in deaths and infections in hot spots like New York are most likely attributable to social distancing, government experts say.
As for what to call the body, to be revealed Tuesday, Trump said: ‘I call it the opening our country task force. Or Opening Our Country Council,’ since there is already a task force on the coronavirus.