President Donald Trump said Friday that his decision to reopen the US economy, which was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be the toughest he has ever made.
"I will have to make a decision and I only hope to God that it is the right decision. But without question I would say it is the biggest decision I have ever had to make," Trump said at a press conference.
Trump, facing a close reelection in November, is trying to reopen the U.S. economy after weeks of tough measures that shut down companies and drastically restrict transportation across the country to slow the spread of the virus.
The previously strong economy was the biggest selling point in its campaign platform.
However, he is also warned that premature opening could endanger life if the virus could exert a new influence.
"I have to make the biggest decision of my life," he said.
Given that the current federal guidelines on social distancing will expire at the end of the month, expectations are increasing that Trump will tell Americans that they can resume normal activities from May – at least in parts of the country.
The decision will be based in part on medical data, but will also be heavily influenced by political considerations and business advice destroyed by the closure, with a sudden drop in earnings and mass unemployment claims.
In an important step in the process, Trump will announce members of a new task force on Tuesday.
"I call it the opening of our Country Task Force or the opening of our Country Council," he said.
The group will include "very good doctors and business people" and probably state governors.
In a sign that Trump will seek broad support for a potentially politically dangerous decision, he said he wants bipartisan representation of politicians in the council.
"I want to attract both parties," he said.
Trump reassured critics who said he was in a hurry and insisted that medical opinion will be key.
"We are looking for a date, we hope that we can keep a specific date, but we will not do anything until we know that this country will be healthy," he said.
"We don't want to go back and do it again."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)