[guest post by Dana]
The New York Times reports:
President Trump said on Tuesday that the White House’s coronavirus task force would be shut down and replaced with “something in a different form” as the country moved into what he called Phase 2 of a response to a pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.
“We will have something in a different form,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he toured a Honeywell mask manufacturing plant in Arizona, where he wore safety goggles but no mask. The president praised the work of the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, but said it was time to focus on safety and reopening the country.
“I think we are looking at Phase 2, and we’re looking at other phases,” Mr. Trump said after he was asked whether it was a good idea to shut down the task force while the virus was still spreading through the country. He said that Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the virus response coordinator for the task force, and other top public officials would still be involved in the efforts to address the pandemic after the task force disbanded.
“They will be, and so will other doctors, and so will other experts in the field,” he said, adding, “We are bringing our country back.”
Why not keep the task force intact and simply remove Trump from the equation? The medical experts are continually dominated by the president at the press conferences, and have to waste precious time countering his challenges, correcting his inaccurate claims, and shutting down his promotion of drugs and treatments for coronavirus that we have all been cautioned about. Trump is little more than a constant distraction who wastes the valuable time of professionals tasked with the near-impossible – which doesn’t include being the president’s clean-up crew.
And unfortunately, it appears that the White House forgot to mention the impending shutdown of the task force to the very face of the pandemic response, Dr. Fauci himself:
At the moment @VP Pence was telling reporters his goal is to wind down the coronavirus task force by Memorial Day, Dr. Anthony Fauci was on the phone with @PaulaReidCBS saying he'd heard no such thing …
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) May 5, 2020
Is it possible that Trump has devised a way to be rid of the one who has disagreed with him publicly, corrected him on occasion, and could barely contain an eyeroll upon hearing the next unbelievable claim come out of the president’s mouth?
FYI, here is a look at current cases of coronavirus in America:
More than a month has passed since there was a day with fewer than 1,000 deaths from the virus. Almost every day, at least 25,000 new coronavirus cases are identified, meaning that the total in the United States — which has the highest number of known cases in the world with more than a million — is expanding by between 2 and 4 percent daily.
In light of New York’s recent decline in new cases, we are reminded by Andrew Noymer, an associate professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine:
If you include New York, it looks like a plateau moving down. If you exclude New York, it’s a plateau slowly moving up.