U.S. President Donald Trump announced on May 6 the task force in charge of handling the coronavirus pandemic would be changing its focus toward reopening the country and would continue “indefinitely.”
The announcement was made in a series of tweets in which the president said the task force will still function with the expertise of Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, and that it would now attend to “SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN."
The president also stated that he “may add or subtract people to it, as appropriate. The Task Force will also be very focused on Vaccines & Therapeutics."
The tweets were made after administration officials said on May 5 that the task force had made much progress in controlling the pandemic and that it would be winding down, then replaced with an advisory body. News of the task force’s end raised concerns that it might lead to more deaths.
The U.S. currently has 1,228,764 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 76,618 deaths, according to the New York Times. There are 3,695,300 confirmed cases around the world and at least 260,900 have died.