The White House may disband its coronavirus task force by late May or early June, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Tuesday.
Though Pence said the discussions were still preliminary, he said the task force — which includes Pence, doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci — would be able to disband because of “the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.”
“We’re having conversations about that and about what the proper time is for the task force to complete its work and for the ongoing efforts to take place on an agency-by-agency level,” Pence said. “We’ve already begun to talk about a transition plan with FEMA. But it really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.”
In the U.S., there have been over 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 70,600 deaths, making it the country with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Research Center. And though some states are beginning to reopen their economies, testing has still fallen short of federal recommendations.
Pence said that he planned to keep medical experts like Birx, the task force’s coronavirus response coordinator, “close” for “as long as we need to.” Fauci would still remain as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, an unnamed administration official told the Wall Street Journal.