Trump Reverses Course, Saying Coronavirus Task Force Will Remain, Refocus; Administration Shelves CDC Guidance For Reopening Country

AP: In reversal, Trump says virus task force to stay but evolve
“President Donald Trump reversed course on plans to wind down his COVID-19 task force, attempting to balance his enthusiasm for ‘reopening’ the country with rising infection rates in parts of the nation. The indecision on the fate of the expert panel was emblematic of an administration — and a country — struggling with competing priorities of averting more death and more economic suffering…” (Miller et al., 5/7).

AP: AP Exclusive: U.S. shelves detailed guide to reopening country
“A set of detailed documents created by the nation’s top disease investigators meant to give step-by-step advice to local leaders deciding when and how to reopen public places such as mass transit, day care centers, and restaurants during the still-raging pandemic has been shelved by the Trump administration. … It was supposed to be published last Friday, but agency scientists were told the guidance “would never see the light of day,” according to a CDC official. The official was not authorized to talk to reporters and spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity…” (Dearan et al., 5/7).

Wall Street Journal: Trump Says Coronavirus Task Force to Shift Focus to Safety and Reopening Economy
“President Trump said the White House coronavirus task force would remain in place with a new focus on reopening the country and developing a vaccine, one day after administration officials said they were considering disbanding the group in the coming weeks. … On Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Trump said he changed his mind about the task force after learning how much the public valued the group. ‘I thought we could wind it down sooner. But I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding down,’ he told reporters at the White House. He said he plans to add two or three members to the task force by next week but still intends to disband the group ‘at a certain point,’ though he didn’t offer a timeline…” (Restuccia/Armour, 5/6).

Additional coverage of Trump’s reversal on ending the task force is available from ABC News, The Hill, POLITICO (2), Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.