White House plans to wind down coronavirus task force in coming weeks: New York Times

Reuters , Tuesday 5 May 2020

President Donald Trump talks to the media before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Phoenix to visit a Honeywell plant that manufactures protective equipment, Tuesday, May 5, 2020 AP

The White House plans to wind down its coronavirus task force in coming weeks, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, adding it is not clear whether another group might replace the task force headed by Vice President Mike Pence and made up of health and logistics officials.

Officials in President Donald Trump's administration are telling task force members and their staff to expect the group to wind down within weeks, according to the Times. Reuters did not immediately confirm the report.

The task force will finish up as the White House moves toward the first phase of Trump's plan to reopen the country after many states ordered people to stay at home in order to slow the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus, the Times said, citing an anonymous official. The focus will now be on therapeutics, vaccines and other treatments.

Formed in March, the task force met frequently to address the rapidly spreading pandemic and then explained its work in nightly news briefings with Trump that often spanned more than an hour. The group's infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, became a household name across the country. While the briefings have stopped, Pence hosted a task-force meeting on Tuesday morning, according to the White House. 

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