President Donald Trump ended Friday's White House coronavirus daily press briefing with an announcement that he has a "big decision" coming up and that he can only "hope to God" that it will be the right one. The president said the decision as to when to reopen the economy will be the biggest and most difficult one he will make in his life.
"Staying at home leads to death also and it is very traumatic for this country but staying at home if you look at numbers that leads to a different kind of death. But it leads to death also. So, it's a very big decision. As I say, it's the biggest decision I'll ever make," Trump said Friday.
Trump took on CNN's Jim Acosta for calling the daily briefings "happy talk," telling the reporter this is not happy talk but the "real deal."
"These are the saddest news conferences that I've ever had. I don't like doing them it. You know why? Because I'm talking about death. I'm talking about taking the greatest economy ever created," Trump said.
"There's no happy talk, Jim," Trump admonished Acosta. "This is the real deal. And I've got to make the biggest decision of my life. And I've only started thinking about that. I mean, you know, 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 ended his press conference with this message:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We've got to get our country open.
But we could have lost 2 million people. We could've lost 1 million people. We could've lost half a million people. If we would've lost 500 thousand people, and I'll say this also, from the standpoint of being president and vice president and we are up there and we're doing that herd and we're going to bullet through it, you honestly think people like Jim and yourself and other people would have--Jeff would have put up with it as people are dying all over? They would have said this man is crazy because the numbers, Tony, at a minimum, would have been many, many times greater than the numbers we're talking about.
So I'm very honored by our decisions, all of us. We talk about it all the time. I said do you want to just let him--you just ride it. You just ride it right through. We would have lost potentially millions of people. Now, it would have been unsustainable. It would have been impossible to do and the American people have been so disciplined it's been my honor to be their president. I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'll say it always.
It's been my great honor to have been there president and I have a big decision coming up and I only hope to God that it's the right decision. It will be based on the input from a lot of very talented--talented people, very smart people and people that love our country. Thank you all very much. Thank you.
"There's no happy talk, Jim. This is the real deal... I've got to make the biggest decision of my life."— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 10, 2020
The President reacts to Jim @Acosta suggesting recent briefings have been "happy talk" painting "a rosy picture" of the pandemic.
"We're talking about death," Trump adds. pic.twitter.com/kx6OH7rdEd