The White House is in the early stages of winding down its coronavirus task force, Vice President Pence’s office confirmed Tuesday, a surprising decision that comes as most states are preparing to loosen restrictions meant to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Pence’s office confirmed to The Hill that the vice president told reporters at a limited briefing that his plan is to scale back the task force’s role by Memorial Day. Pence has been leading the task force since late February.
Members are likely to return to their respective departments and manage the coronavirus response from there.
The New York Times first reported on the expected demise of the task force.
The task force, which includes nearly two dozen officials from various government agencies, has been less visible in recent weeks as President Trump and others transition their focus to the economic consequences of the pandemic.
But the decision to formally disband the task force is sure to raise concern among public health experts who have warned the coronavirus will likely be part of life in the U.S. until there is a widely available vaccine, which could take a year or longer to develop.
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