October 18, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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The White House coronavirus task force will be closed around Commemoration Day

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Phoenix to visit a Honeywell plant that manufactures protective equipment, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

The official said that the task force “will drop gradually around Memorial Day. We will continue to ask key medical experts to give advice (President Donald Trump) every day and be accessible through the press over the coming months.”

This step will destroy the nerve center that is most visible to the federal government’s response to the virus. But a senior administration official told CNN to expect members of the task force to remain involved in conversations with governors and industry leaders because the White House was aware that leaders still wanted to hear from doctors when they reopened their states and businesses.

The news came a little more than a week after CNN reported that the task force might soon begin to slowly reduce the overall number of meetings, according to a source, when Trump and Vice President Mike Pence scheduled other events.

Officials said that the task force might never have been officially announced and there was no clear replacement group ready to start afterwards, the Times reported. A senior second administration official told CNN, “This does not mean doctors are removed from the equation or expelled.”

The second senior administration official told CNN that the White House shifted its focus to reopening the economy “and getting Americans back to work.” The shift will take place over the next few weeks and doctors like Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been a key figure in the President’s task force briefing with journalists, will still play an “important advisory role” in the process. , said the second senior administration official.

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“Members of the task force will continue to provide input, even though the group will not meet regularly because the focus changes towards vaccines, therapy, testing, and finally reopening the economy,” said a senior second administration official. “Keep in mind that the task force is always a temporary arrangement. Health experts will continue to provide input even though they don’t meet together every day.”

Pence confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that the White House was in talks about when the time was right to disperse the task force. The comments were made in a small briefing with reporters for which CNN was not invited. The vice president’s office then gave a partial transcript of the comments.

“We are in talks about that and about the right time for the task force to complete its work and for ongoing efforts to take place at the agent-per-agent level,” Pence said, adding that the White House had begun to discuss “transition plans with FEMA . “

Pence added that the White House “began to look at the Commemoration day window, a window early in June as a time when we could begin the transition” away from the task force.

This is an extraordinary story and will be updated.