Udayavni Special

When to open the country is the biggest decision he ever had to make: Trump


Team Udayavani, Apr 11, 2020, 7:28 AM IST

Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday said when to open up the country is going to be the biggest decision he ever had to make.

In barely a few weeks, a booming American economy has literally come to a standstill due the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 95 percent of the 330 million population are under stay-at-home order amid a national emergency in place and a record number of more than 16 million people have lost their jobs.

By Friday evening, more than 18,000 Americans have lost their lives to the deadly coronavirus infection, while nearly five lakh people have tested positive. New York City, the global financial capital, has emerged as its epicentre COVID-19 outbreak in the US with over 7,800 fatalities and 1.7 lakh infected cases.

Trump told reporters that a decision on reopening the country so that economy can be back on track would be taken at an appropriate time in consultations with his close advisors including the members of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus.

He, however, did not give a definitive date for this.

I’m going to have to make a decision and I only hope to God that it is the right decision, but I would say without question it is the biggest decision I have ever had to make, Trump told reporters, responding to a question during his daily White House news conference on COVID-19.

I’ve got to make the biggest decision of my life. I’ve only started thinking about that. I mean I’ve made a lot of big decisions over my life. You understand that. This is by far the biggest decision of my life because I have to say okay, let’s go. This is what we’re going to do, Trump said.

Responding to a question, Trump said he has the powers to take a decision on reopening the country.

Mr President, there is obviously a lot of interest in how you are going to make that decision, he was asked.

It is a very big decision. I don’t know that I have had a bigger decision than that when you think, right? I mean think of that decision somebody said it is totally up to the president and I saw this morning it is totally up and it is, he said.

I don’t know that I have had a bigger decision, but I’m going to surround myself with the greatest minds, not only the greatest minds but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and reason, and we are going to make a decision and hopefully it is going to be the right decision, he said.

Trump said he wants to get the country open as soon as he can.

We have to get our country open, he said.

When asked what metrics he will use to make that decision, he said it is in his brain.

That is my metrics, that is all I can do. I can listen to 35 people. At the end I’ve got to make a decision and I didn’t think of it until yesterday. I said you know this is a big decision. But I want to be guided, I’m going to be guided by them, I am going to be guided by our Vice President, he said.

I am going to make a decision based on a lot of different opinions. Some will, maybe, disagree and some, I would love to see it, where they don’t disagree. Will there be risk? There is always going to be a risk that something can flare up, he added.

There’s always look, look at what is happening, where countries are trying to get open and there’s a flareup and they will go but I would like the flareup to be very localized so that we can control it from a local standpoint without having to close. There’s always a risk, said the US president.

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