The White House is considering scaling back the coronavirus task force.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that the White House is looking at winding down the task force by late-May. He added that the members of the task force would continue to work on combating the virus from their departments.
“I think we’re having conversations about that and about what the proper time is for the task force to complete its work and for the ongoing efforts to take place on an agency-by-agency level,” Pence told reporters.
He continued, “And we’ve already begun to talk about a transition plan with FEMA.”
“It really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country,” he added.
There appeared to be some confusion regarding Pence’s comments as Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS News on Tuesday that the White House has not had conversations about scaling back the task force with him.
News that the White House was planning to shut down the coronavirus task force led to criticism on social media.
It appears the plan is, shamefully, to have no plan.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 5, 2020
Americans will suffer.
We must replace this administration in November. https://t.co/WWuRRK253t
Trump is winding down his Coronavirus Task Force, meaning he is finally admitting that he cannot lead us in this crisis and is throwing it back to the states. He wanted to run this country like a reality TV show, but instead he ran it into the ground, like one of his casinos.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 5, 2020
The point of the "coronavirus task force" was to provide a flanking chorus for Trump's daily televised self-pity sessions. Since the "inject bleach" fiasco ended the televised self-pity sessions, the flanking chorus is no longer needed.— David Frum (@davidfrum) May 5, 2020
70 thousand Americans have died, and the President is calling the American people “warriors,” and “winding down” the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Please vote.— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 5, 2020
If you can’t shut down the virus, shut down the task force. https://t.co/RnWfN5SQ4s— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 5, 2020
The news also comes as several models are predicting that the number of new cases of the coronavirus per day will rise as states begin to reopen their economies and Americans begin to leave their homes.
One model increased the number of predicted coronavirus deaths from 72,433 to 134,000 by August and cited the lifting of state at home orders for the rise.
According to the latest data, there are roughly 1.2 million confirmed cases of the virus in the country and more than 70,000 coronavirus deaths.