President Trump

Trump says coronavirus task force will continue ‘indefinitely,’ shift focus to reopening and vaccines

President Trump on Wednesday said the coronavirus task force would continue “indefinitely” but would shift its focus to safely re-opening the country amid the coronavirus pandemic — following indications from his administration that officials were considering winding the group down.

The president said his “last four Governors teleconference calls have been conclusively strong.”


Vice President Pence, who has led the task force, said Tuesday that White House officials were “having conversations” about finishing up the group’s business and, instead, having “agencies take over the work” — specifically mentioning the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA]. Pence said, though, that the earliest the agencies could take over the group’s responsibilities would be Memorial Day or early June, if the task force itself were to be discontinued.

The task force has included Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Dr. Deborah Birx, who served as the U.S. Global AIDS coordinator under both the Trump and Obama administrations; U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams; Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, and more.

A White House official told Fox News on Tuesday the White House has been shifting focus toward re-opening the country, as outlined in Phase 1 of the administration’s “Opening Up America Again” guidelines. The official said it would be an ongoing shift over the next several weeks.


The official told Fox News that doctors will continue to play an “important advisory role” in the process, as the administration has aimed to “make sure medical guidelines are kept up to date” and Americans are able to safely return to work. The official stressed that doctors were not being removed from the equation and called any reports reflecting that “false.”

The official told Fox News that members of the task force will continue to provide input, but the group would not be meeting as regularly as they had been at the outset of the pandemic. The official added that the White House’s focus was shifting toward vaccines, therapeutics, testing and re-opening the economy.

It’s unclear whether Trump’s tweets on Wednesday indicate changes to that approach.

The task force had delivered near-daily briefings from the White House for nearly two months, sometimes lasting for more than an hour, providing updates on the impact of the coronavirus and the Trump administration’s response.

But, those briefings also became a source of controversy. Trump led many of them, taking criticism for spending chunks of time touting his administration’s accomplishments and sparring with some of the media. Lately, the briefings had been more or less discontinued.


Meanwhile, Democrats were quick to criticize the administration for suggesting it could wind down the task force.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., accused the president of downplaying the coronavirus.

“It is unthinkable that President Trump would shut down the main task force established to coordinate our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic while we are still in the midst of figuring out the health and economic implications of this pandemic,” Hoyer said Tuesday. ” It is a shameful abdication of responsibility.”

The president, on Tuesday, defended the talks of winding down the task force during a visit to a mask production facility in Arizona. He said his advisers were looking “very closely” at the coronavirus and would continue to.

”We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years,” Trump said. “We’ve learned a lot about the coronavirus.”

President Trump
2 Comments on this post.
  • Judy Palmer
    7 May 2020 at 4:15 pm
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    I would like to know when we can be able to go back to our churches!

  • sally
    7 May 2020 at 4:55 pm
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    I really wish he would get rid of Fauci. He’s not to be trusted. Who convinced him to continue with these people?

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