WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s “beautiful” idea to reopen the U.S. economy by Easter Sunday and pack church pews that day was dreamed up during a conference call among business leaders desperate to get the country back up and running.
But his target date for easing coronavirus restrictions is another outstretched hand to a group he has long courted: evangelical Christians.
Cooped up at the White House and watching the stock market tumble, Trump had already been eager to ease federal guidelines aimed at halting the spread of a virus that had infected more than 55,000 Americans when about a dozen business leaders convened a conference call on Sunday.
“There was a concern — not unanimity, but consensus — that you had to have a reopening of the economy at some point soon,” said Stephen Moore, a conservative economist and informal Trump adviser. On the call, Moore said, he argued in favor of setting a specific date as a goal by which point the economy could gradually begin to be reopened.