The United States is looking to disband the White House task force on COVID-19.
In yet another sign that he may not be handling the coronavirus crisis well, President Donald Trump is preparing to wind down the COVID-19 task force.
US Vice President Mike Pence indicated that the task force could be disbanded by late-May or early-June.
Here are more details.
While visiting a mask-manufacturing plant in Phoenix on Tuesday, Trump told reporters, "Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we're now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening. We'll have a different group probably set up for that."
When asked if it meant "mission accomplished," Trump responded, "No, not at all."
"We are bringing our country back," said Trump, who has faced backlash for reopening the economy even as over a million have been infected with the coronavirus in the US. Trump also said that the US had flattened the curve and saved "countless American lives."
Meanwhile, the task force press briefings, that were once a daily affair, have become scarce since Trump was criticized for suggesting "disinfectant injections" as treatment of COVID-19.
Trump also said on Tuesday that experts on the White House task force Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci would still be involved in the fight against COVID-19 along with other doctors and experts.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pence had told reporters that the task force could be disbanded.
Pence—who has led the task force—said the Trump administration was "starting to look at the Memorial Day [late-May] window, early-June window as a time when we could begin to transition back to having our agencies begin to manage, begin to manage our national response in a more traditional manner."
The US has reported over 12 lakh coronavirus infections till date, including 71,000 deaths.
Currently, new daily infections stand at roughly 20,000, while daily deaths cross 1,000.
Besides New York—the worst-hit state—the infections continue to rise in the rest of the US.
Notably, states that have started reopening—including Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska, and Indiana—are now seeing more daily cases.
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