Anthony Fauci in particular had recently made a certain celebrity with his appearances at the daily briefing at the White House and on various TV channels. And now it looks like he and his colleagues will remain in the US public for a while yet.
At the same time, the President announced a reorientation of the body that advises him on crisis management, playing a central role in containing the pandemic. The focus will from now on “reopening our country,” as well as vaccines and treatments, Trump wrote on Twitter. In addition, individual members of the task force may be replaced.
First the off, then the lightning comeback
The task force was set up at the end of January. On Tuesday, US Vice President Mike Pence unexpectedly announced that the panel he led would be dissolved in the coming weeks. Pence cited late May, early June, as the time frame.
Trump initially confirmed his deputy’s claims, saying it was time for a new “phase.” Then, on Wednesday, he pulled back. The president told reporters that he did not know how “popular” the task force was among the population. He only became aware of this after announcing the end of the panel.
Forecasts leave no easing in the US
The announcement of the dissolution of the task force had caused astonishment. Not only is the US the hardest-hit country in the world, with more than 1.2 million confirmed infections and more than 72,000 deaths. Experts have also warned of a new rise in infections if corona restrictions are eased too quickly.
Trump himself is pushing for a swift return to normality, despite the warnings: The president wants to get the economy back on track as quickly as possible in the 2020 election year. Many states have already begun to relax measures such as exit restrictions and business closures. He needs a thriving economy to have a good chance in November’s election.
The US President has been repeatedly criticized for his crisis management, but rejects all accusations. He said the pandemic was worse than the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Japanese attack on the US base at Pearl Harbor in World War II. “This is really the worst attack we’ve ever had,” the president said at the White House. “This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center”.