White House coronavirus task force to be wound down around Memorial Day

The official said the working group "will be phased down around Memorial Day. We will continue to have key medical experts who advise every day (President Donald Trump) and are available for press over the coming months."

The move would destroy the most visible nerve center for the federal government's response to the virus. But an administrative official told CNN that they expect members of the working group to still be involved in talks with governors and industry leaders because the White House is aware that leaders still want to hear from doctors when they reopen their states and businesses.

The news comes just over a week later CNN reported that the working group could soon begin to slowly scale down the number of meetings altogether, according to a source, while Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are planning other events.

Officials said the end of the work group can never be officially announced, and no clear replacement group appears ready to start in the wake, the Times reports. Another CEO told CNN: "This does not mean doctors are being removed from the equation or pushed out."

The other chief executive told CNN that the White House is shifting its focus toward reopening the economy "and putting Americans back into work." This shift will happen in the coming weeks, and doctors like Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, who have been prominent figures in the president's working group meetings with journalists, will continue to play "an important advisory role" in the process. , said the other head of administration.

"Members of the working group will continue to provide input, although the group, but will not meet as regularly as the focus shifts toward vaccines, therapeutics, testing and ultimately reopening the economy," said the second managing official. "Remember that the working group has always been a temporary arrangement. Health experts will continue to provide input even if they do not meet every day."


Pence confirmed to reporters Tuesday that the White House is having talks about when the time would be right to dissolve the working group. The comments were made in a brief orientation with a reporter to whom CNN was not invited. The Vice President's Office later provided a partial printout of the comments.

"We have talks about it and about the right time for the workgroup to complete the work and for the ongoing effort to happen at an agency-by-agency level," Pence said, adding that the White House has begun to discuss a "transitional plan with FEMA."


Pence added that the White House "is starting to look at the Memorial Day window, the beginning of the June window as a time when we could begin to transition" away from the working group.

This is a cracking story and will be updated.

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