Trump vows to rebuild US economy to honor coronavirus victims, sees 'tremendous surge' ahead

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President Trump vowed to rebuild the U.S. economy to honor those who have died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We're going to rebuild it again in honor of all those who perished today," Trump said Saturday night on Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine."

Trump told host Jeanine Pirro he expects the economy to rebound like a "rocket ship" -- because of the American public's desire to get back to work and $2 trillion in coronavirus economic relief from the federal government.

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"And I think the stimulus, coupled with this pent-up demand and everybody wanting to get out and go back to work," Trump said. "I think we're going to have a just a tremendous surge."

The president said Americans have combated the coronavirus the "right way," and that if the country didn't follow the safety guidelines, such as social distancing, the nation likely would have experienced far greater numbers of fatalities.

"We did it the right way. We took care of social distancing and all of the things, words that nobody ever heard before, frankly, and phrases. But if we didn't do that, we would have pulled through it," Trump said. "There were estimates, 2.2 million people. Well, if you cut that in more than half and you said a million and cut that in half. You say 500,000, it just would have been unacceptable."

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Trump also looked ahead to when he will eventually reopen the economy, saying the timing of the order will represent the biggest decision of his presidency. But he assured the public that many "smart people" will advise him on the call.

"A lot of very smart people, a lot of professionals, doctors and business leaders are a lot of things that go into a decision like that," he said. "And it's going to be based on a lot of facts and a lot of instinct also. Whether we like it or not, there is a certain instinct to it.

"We're setting up a council now of some of the most distinguished leaders in virtually every field, including politics and business and medical. And we'll be making that decision fairly soon."