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President Trump says political opponents pushing to keep the economy closed, amid reelection bid

In an interview with Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo, the president continued his push to reopen the economy

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President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
Updated: May 14, 2020 - 8:22am

President Donald Trump says he believes his political opponents are pushing for a slower reopening of the economy as a way to damage his reelection chances in November.

"I think it's a political thing," Trump said in an interview aired Thursday on Fox Business, in response to a question on whether rivals could be slowing state re-openings to hurt his campaign. "We have to get our country open. You know, if it was up to some people let's keep it closed for a long time ... and watch the United States go down the tubes. Not gonna happen. Never gonna happen on my watch." 

The president also advocated for reopening schools as soon as possible.

"I think we have to open our schools, young people are very little affected by this," he said, of Fox Business' "Mornings with Maria."

The president has previously said that he won't consider the country successfully reopened until schools are back in session, though most states include the reopening of schools in the final phase of their return from coronavirus plan. 

During a hearing before the Senate Health committee on Tuesday, Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) similarly advocated for their reopening, to which to Dr. Anthony Fauci responded, "We should be humble about what we don't know."

Dr. Fauci did not comment on whether or when schools will reopen, but did say it is unlikely that a vaccine will be developed in time for the new school year to begin. 

"Now we want to do it safely, but we also want to do it as quickly as possible ... I totally disagree with him on schools," Trump said Thursday. "Anthony is a good person, a very good person – I've disagreed with him."