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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study 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 MnuchinGOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal On The Money: Sides tiptoe towards a COVID deal, but breakthrough appears distant | Expiring benefits raise stakes of stimulus talks | Stocks fade with eyes on Capitol MORE, White House chief of staff Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsSides tiptoe toward a COVID-19 deal, but breakthrough appears distant Batten down the Hatch Act: Trump using tax dollars to boost his 'brand' This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal MORE, Trump's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpTrump slams Facebook, Twitter for limiting spread of New York Post's Biden story OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump creates federal council on global tree planting initiative | Green group pushes for answers on delayed climate report | Carbon dioxide emissions may not surpass 2019 levels until 2027: analysis Trump creates federal government council on global tree planting initiative 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 FauciFauci quotes 'The Godfather' in response to latest Trump attacks Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Trump's scorched earth style overshadows campaign's message in final weeks 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.