As deaths from the virus continue to grow, President Donald Trump confirmed reporting that the task force formed especially for tackling it may disband as early as next month.
The President has routinely expressed an eagerness to see governors scale back stay-at-home and social distancing measures in an effort to revive the sinking economy that once was a talking point in favor of his reelection.
It wasn't long before Trump defended the closure, stressing that he's more focused on reopening the economy.
Asked by @Acosta to explain the logic of phasing out the White House coronavirus task force while the pandemic is o… https://t.co/dYR6DAYAL0— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1588712353.0
Meanwhile, National Instituted of Allergies and Infectious Diseases head Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared not to be aware of this latest development.
As a 50 year veteran of disease and pandemic response, Dr. Fauci was one of the few people on the task force that most Americans trusted. But as Donald Trump regularly found himself at odds with the truth about the virus, Fauci would correct him, prompting many of the President's supporters to call for Fauci's firing and to deem him a deep state operative.
The White House also blocked Fauci from testifying before a Democratic led House Committee on the virus, because—according to the President—the House is "a bunch of Trump haters."
When asked about the talks on disbanding the virus task force, Fauci fervently denied what Trump and Vice President Mike Pence confirmed:
"That's not true, I've been in every task force meeting, and that's not what they are doing."
People feared that Fauci, one of the largest proponents of public health over economic prosperity, was being shut out.
Pence says they’re winding down the task force, hopefully by Memorial Day. Fauci says he knows nothing about that… https://t.co/qizTFw1N5W— Angry Staffer (@Angry Staffer)1588707869.0
This is scary. https://t.co/IX5QD8pW4a— Elena M😇🍍📷🏖 (@Elena M😇🍍📷🏖)1588705850.0
Feel like we're on the Titanic. https://t.co/YcKcV5pICA— @Chipsy231 (@@Chipsy231)1588706162.0
Pence confirms that they are thinking of disbanding the #covid19 taskforce a couple of hours after Dr Fauci denied… https://t.co/qhF4b8QhXN— Paul Guinnessy (@Paul Guinnessy)1588706653.0
The task force's imminent disbandment was chilling to anyone concerned about the highly contagious viral pathogen.
Should Trump explain why he would remove the body that is doing the most to keep us safe? Is there any rational ups… https://t.co/OVmyUhD7Ma— Christopher C. Cuomo (@Christopher C. Cuomo)1588706199.0
How is it even possible that the COVID task force is “winding down?” Seriously, I know that they didn’t really do a… https://t.co/diURZSXuQI— Diane_Elizabeth (@Diane_Elizabeth)1588711436.0
@nytimes Because trump’s followers will believe he has ended the pandemic if he ends the task force. We’re doomed.… https://t.co/3yR4nRZ7zo— Leigh Evans Loveday (@Leigh Evans Loveday)1588709429.0
The death toll surpassed 70 thousand today, and doesn't show signs of relenting any time soon.
For a deeper look into Trump's ineptitude, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.