Report: White House Plans To Nix COVID-19 Task Force Even As Outbreak Rages On

President Donald Trump, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, speaks about the coronavirus in the press briefing room at the White House on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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May 5, 2020 2:46 p.m.
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Farewell, COVID-19 task force. We barely knew ye.

The White House is planning to put the kibosh on President Donald Trump’s task force operations, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Task force members are reportedly being informed of the change right now. It is not yet known why the Trump administration is disbanding the team, given that the COVID-19 outbreak has yet to be contained in the U.S.

Pence confirmed that the administration is talking about winding down the task force, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We’re having conversations about that and about what the proper time is for the task force to complete its work,” he told reporters, according to the Journal.

The task force officials’ efforts, particularly that of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, have been plagued by inconsistent messaging from Trump, along with his bombastic press briefings. Officials have had to clean up the President’s overly optimistic claims and predictions about vaccines for the virus and when the outbreak will be contained enough to reopen the economy.

The apex of the off-the-rails briefings arrived less than two weeks ago when Trump argued that one could be cured of COVID-19 by injecting themselves with disinfectant.

The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
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COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
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