Coronavirus Task Force Will Continue Indefinitely After Backlash
President Donald Trump clarified that the coronavirus task force will continue its operations indefinitely on Wednesday, a change in approach after the President suggested the task force could wind down its operations in the coming weeks as the federal government places increased emphasis on reopening.
The President announced the development in a tweet.
Some anti-Trump commentators had seized upon the proposed winding down of the task force, claiming it was evidence that the administration wasn’t properly dealing with the disease. The continued operation of the task force, which will assist in strategies to safely reopen American communities and workplaces, largely disproves the notion that the Trump administration is merely forgetting about the disease.
However, the winding down of the task force had never been part of a plan to ignore the coronavirus epidemic and its potential lasting effects. Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the group of federal public health officials, had mentioned talks with FEMA to hand off the obligations and responsibilities of the coronavirus task force to the federal agency as opposed to the White House.
Anthony Fauci confirmed the plan to transition the task force to other federal agencies was never an attempt to shut down the group, which will continue to oversee efforts to develop vaccines and therapeutic treatments for coronavirus.
Just spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci and he says #coronavirus task force is not winding down. “That’s not true, I’ve been in every task force meeting, and that’s not what they are doing." #COVID19 https://t.co/vgcwFcuEEg
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) May 5, 2020
The President discussed his reconsideration of the task force during a Wednesday press briefing. “I thought we could wind it down sooner. But I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding down,” he told reporters in the Oval Office. “It is appreciated by the public.”