Here's what's happening in light of emerging media reports claiming that VP Mike Pence plans to disband the coronavirus task force.
VP Mike Pence and coronavirus task force members conducted a briefing for reporters this afternoon. The conversation was held at OEOB and included wires, some conservative-leaning outlets, and other media. Here’s what has been said in light of emerging media reports claiming that Pence plans to disband the coronavirus task force.
The New York Times is reporting that White House officials had told members of the task force that the task force will be wound down and that there won’t necessarily be another group to replace it. Is that accurate, that you’ve been told that it’s winding down? In the next few weeks?
VP MIKE PENCE: 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. We’ve already begun to talk about a transition plan with FEMA. But it’s really all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country. The President stood up the White House Coronavirus Task Force in January to marshal a national response.
As I’ve said before, as we continue to practice social distancing and states engage in safe and responsible reopening plans, I truly believe — and the trend lines support it — that we could be in a very different place. And by late May and early June — and that probably represents the timetable for our agencies.
Is Dr. Birx going to stick around even though it’s wound down?
VP MIKE PENCE: We’re going to keep Dr. Deborah Birx around every bit as long as we need to.
Did you say early June?
VP MIKE PENCE: I think we’re starting to look at the Memorial Day window, early June window as a time when we could begin to transition back to having our agencies begin to manage our national response in a more traditional manner.
DR. BIRX: We’ll still keep a close eye on the data because we have very good data now. It took us a while to build that capacity. And we’ll make sure that you know, we’re watching that at a federal level.