Trump says he'll use 'facts and instincts' when deciding to push for US to reopen

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE said Saturday that he will rely "on a lot of facts and instincts" when deciding whether to recommend that portions of the U.S. economy reopen amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

In a phone interview on Fox News's "Justice with Judge Jeanine," Trump acknowledged that the decision would be "the toughest decision I ever made and hopefully the most difficult I will ever have to make."

"I hope I'm going to make the right decision," he said. "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 instincts. Whether you like it or not, there is a certain instinct to it."

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He added that the White House would be making an announcement on the subject "reasonably" soon. 

Trump has alternated between pushing for the U.S. economy to reopen and deferring to medical experts who have called for social distancing guidelines to remain in place until the U.S. outbreak begins receding. 

Trump said earlier this month that the health of the country would take priority over the economy amid the pandemic. Then, at a White House briefing on Friday, the president said he wanted to open the economy "as soon as possible" and would convene an "Opening Our Country Council."

"This country was meant to be open and vibrant and great," he said.

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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner Mnuchin The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Association of American Railroads Ian Jefferies says no place for hate, racism or bigotry in rail industry or society; Trump declares victory in response to promising jobs report Trump signs bill giving businesses more time to spend coronavirus loans The Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO's Michelle McMurry-Heath says 400 projects started in 16 weeks in biotech firms to fight virus, pandemic unemployment total tops 43 million MORE, White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsTrump names new acting director of legislative affairs House Judiciary to hear whistleblowers on 'politicization' of Justice Dept under Trump How Trump cleared the park around the White House for church photo op MORE, Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpIvanka Trump releases prepared speech after being dropped as Wichita State commencement speaker The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump poses for controversial photo op at DC church amid protests Trump: food chain 'almost working perfectly again' MORE, and private sector figures will reportedly be part of the group. 

As of Sunday morning, the U.S. had reported more than 530,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Roughly 20,600 people in the country have died from the virus, with with more than 7,000 deaths in New York alone. 

The outbreak has led states across the country to impose orders barring nonessential travel and large gatherings, measures that have upended the U.S. economy and led to a rapid surge in unemployment. Many states have imposed stay-at-home orders that stretch until June. 

Trump and some of his allies have continually expressed fears about businesses remaining closed for an extended period of time. Meanwhile, health experts, including Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Healthcare: Fauci says coronavirus task force activity 'intense' despite decreased visibility The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election Fauci: Coronavirus task force activity 'intense' despite decreased visibility MORE, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a leading member of the administration's coronavirus task force, stress that restrictions must stay in place. 

“This is not the time to feel that since we have made such important advances in the sense of success of the mitigation that we need to be pulling back at all," Fauci said Friday.