Trump: Coronavirus Task Force Will Continue Indefinitely, Add Members

Melanie Arter | May 6, 2020 | 6:03pm EDT
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(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - One day after saying he would wind it down, President Donald Trump did an about face Wednesday on discontinuing the White House Coronavirus Task Force, announcing that not only would the task force continue, but he plans to add more people to it.

Trump tweeted the news on Wednesday morning, saying that because of the task force’s success, it will “continue on indefinitely” focusing on safety and opening up the country again.

The White House CoronaVirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, has done a fantastic job of bringing together vast highly complex resources that have set a high standard for others to follow in the future. Ventilators, which were few & in bad shape, are now being produced in the thousands, and we have many to spare.

We are helping other countries which are desperate for them. Likewise, after having been left little, we are now doing more testing than all other countries combined, and with superior tests. Face masks & shields, gloves, gowns etc. are now plentiful.

The last four Governors teleconference calls have been conclusively strong. Because of this success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN. We may add or subtract people to it, as appropriate. The Task Force will also be very focused on Vaccines & Therapeutics. Thank you!


During a signing ceremony for a proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day, Fox News White House Correspondent John Roberts asked the president what was the rationale for changing his mind on the task force after initially saying there were discussions of winding down the task force by June. 

Trump praised Vice President Mike Pence for the task force’s success. He said he had a meeting Wednesday morning and decided to leave the task force indefinitely.

It's had great success. Mike Pence has done a fantastic job. Whether it was on ventilators, when we started we didn't have ventilators. We got them built very quickly and now we are giving them to other countries all over the world that are desperate for ventilators. There has been no person in this whole country, in our whole country, that hasn't had a ventilator if they needed it. You probably saw that. Remember, at the beginning, it was really tough, and we got them built so fast. 

It was really an incredible mobilization. Not since World War II has anything happened with not only ventilators, but everything else. Testing is going really well. And the task force has done a great job, and I had a meeting yesterday. I had a meeting this morning, probably even more importantly. So we will be leaving the task force indefinitely. We'll see. 

At a certain point that will end, like things end. But we will be adding some people to the task force. They’ll be more in the neighborhood, probably, of opening our country up, because our country has to get open again. The people want it to be open, but we have to open it up safely. So we’ll be adding two or three additional members to the task force. 

There may be one or two that will be less involved that will be more involved with the original formation of the ventilator in the ventilator systems, but if they want to stay, they can, because they really did a fantastic job. At a certain point, we won't need the task force, but we are going to leave that. We’re gonna add a couple people to it, and that will, again, be for the opening of our country.  

If you think about it, we are opening our country again. We have the most successful economy in history for any country, anywhere in the world. And then they came -- I was sitting right here. They said, ‘Sir, we're going to have to close it.’ I said, ‘Close what?’ ‘Basically, we're going to have to close our country.’ Just like you said ‘It's important they not be together?’ It's not a question, right? 

You can’t have the family together, it's so sad. Anyway, we did something, we did the right move. We saved millions of lives by doing what we did, but it's unbelievably tough for a country. Most countries throughout the world did something similar, but this affected 182, 184 countries, and it’s a very sad thing. So we’re keeping the task force for a period of time. I look forward to when we can close the task force, because then the job will be essentially, hopefully, over, Mike. Right? And you've done a fantastic job.

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