Donald Trump says COVID-19 task force is refocusing
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable on supporting Native Americans, Tuesday, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump
A day after saying task force would be replaced, Trump tweets it “will continue on indefinitely.”

One day after saying that the COVID-19 task force would be winding down, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that it would continue indefinitely, but focus more on rebooting the economy.

Trump tweeted that the panel’s focus would be on “SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN.”

Trump’s reversal comes as deaths and infections rates outside of New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus, are rising even as states move to lift their lockdowns.

A White House official acknowledged Wednesday morning that signaling that the task force was preparing to shut down sent the wrong message and created a media maelstrom. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking, said the membership in the task force group would change as the nature of the crisis evolves.

On Tuesday, Trump had praised the task force for doing a great job, but said “we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening. And we’ll — we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.”

His tweet on Wednesday said “the Task Force will continue on indefinitely.” He added that the White House “may add or subtract people to it, as appropriate. The Task Force will also be very focused on Vaccines & Therapeutics.”

Trump made himself Exhibit A for reopening the country with his Tuesday visit to an Arizona face mask factory, using the trip to demonstrate his determination to see an easing of stay-at-home orders even as the coronavirus remains a dire threat. Trump did not wear a mask despite guidelines saying they should be worn inside the factory at all times.

“The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors. We have to open,” Trump declared Tuesday as he left Washington on a trip that was more about the journey than the destination.

In Arizona, Trump acknowledged the human cost of returning to normalcy.

“I’m not saying anything is perfect, and yes, will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” he said.

Trump had said he would don a face mask if the factory was “a mask environment,” but in the end he wore only safety goggles during a tour of the Honeywell facility. Nearly all factory workers and members of the press as well as some White House staff and Secret Service agents wore masks. Senior White House staff and Honeywell executives did not.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


One comment

  • Margaret A Blustine

    May 6, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Trump doing this because new plan is herd immunity hitler experiment not help.more stop virus.now with de santis help.other govs starting disaster ongoing floods sick dying.trump focus now wrongly using task.force ope more kill mre thinkng economy better when 325 million now exposed fst rapid like wildfire spreading virus will fast outrun like wildfire totslly cripplevwork.force many ys.virus move too fst to many peole.rump.ne sk.foce try open kil moe people mor sates only.i wil fail.doomeonomy.vrus spread way too fas cause no jbs years by august.trump unlease hitler kill pan on fla sevl.states now.stop thisisanity fst exposure unleashed to.fast sped america and worl way before any jobs for moreha a month.virus too st.pln hr imuniy usingde santis is insanity.stop.him.strict lockdowns proven work
    Now americans infected carrirs rump.released rave.worldwide.will destroy worse coutries flattened and ua stats ceting economic total crash by une july.dont do it govrnors.america says no.still to hih rising numbers is insane thinkbexposing now 325 milion people will.leave enuf works.no way.stop and govs strict lockdown all now.proves onlybthing works many counries.trump.now focus pe more to early kil more ego thinks enuf left work.wont be.too many population too many consistentky onging sick workrs.crazy will fail in.disaster.stop this runway crash of amrican economy and lives now.he cant win.virus too fst
    Stop
    Lockdown save america.

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