Trump says coronavirus task force will continue to work “indefinitely”, focusing on vaccines and reopening


Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, and Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, listen to President Donald J. Trump speak with the task force on Coronaviruses at a briefing in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Room at the White House Friday March 20, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the coronavirus task force will continue to operate “indefinitely”, one day after he and other officials suggested it would be phased out in the coming weeks.

Although the task force will not go away, it could replace some members and focus on economic reopening in the United States, Trump said in a series of tweets.

Trump said the group, led by Vice President Mike Pence, “had done a fantastic job in bringing together vast, very complex resources,” such as fans, face masks, and test systems.

“As a result of this success, the Task Force will continue indefinitely with a focus on SECURITY AND THE OPENING OF OUR COUNTRY AGAIN,” the president tweeted.

“We can add or subtract people, if necessary. The Working Group will also be very focused on vaccines and therapeutics. Thank you! Added Trump.

The tweets marked a reversal for Trump, who said on Tuesday that he was terminating the task force “because we cannot keep our country closed for the next five years.”

Sources told CNBC and other media earlier today that White House staff had told task force officials that a phase-out was imminent. Pence seemed to confirm this information, suggesting that the dissolution of the task force “reflected all the considerable progress we had made as a country”.

These are the latest news. Please check back for updates.


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