White House Coronavirus Task Force

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U.S. President Donald Trump and members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force brief the media on March 16, 2020.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is a United States Department of State task force that "coordinates and oversees the Administration's efforts to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread" of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[1] The task force was established on January 29, 2020.[2] On February 26, 2020, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was named to chair the task force, and Deborah Birx was named the response coordinator.[3] Other members have been added since the initial appointments.

Background[edit]

The first known case in the United States of COVID-19 was confirmed in the state of Washington on January 20, 2020, in a 35-year-old man who had returned from Wuhan, China on January 15.[4] The White House Coronavirus Task Force was established on January 29.[2] On January 30, the WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and on January 31, the Trump administration declared a public health emergency,[5] and placed travel restrictions on entry for travellers from China.[6]

On March 10, 2020, The Hill reported that U.S. Senate Republicans who had attended a briefing with President Donald Trump had encouraged him to hold more briefings and to make Anthony Fauci the "face of the federal government's response" because according to an unnamed senator, "he has credibility", he "speaks with authority" and he "has respect in the medical community."[7] The role of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was downsized, according to the Wall Street Journal, with Pence taking a larger role.[8]

The Task Force has livestreamed press briefings at whitehouse.gov to communicate updates, guidelines, and policy changes to the public during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic in the US.[9][10][11] On March 16, the White House began holding the Task Force press briefings daily,[12] but by late April the White House discussed reducing the frequency of these briefings. On April 25, there was no press briefing, and at that time no further press briefings had been scheduled.[13][14] On May 5, Pence said that the administration was discussing "what the proper time is for the Task Force to complete its work"; the next day, Trump said, to the contrary, that the Task Force would "continue on indefinitely" but would refocus on returning the nation to normal activity.[15]

As the US entered a new phase of re-opening businesses and getting back to work, Pence named five new members to the task force on May 15, 2020.[16]

The Task Force gave a press briefing on May 22. However, for the rest of May, while demonstrations spread across the country, it did not give another briefing.[17]

Members[edit]

Member Role Appointment
Portrait of Mike Pence Mike Pence Vice President of the United States
Chair of White House Coronavirus Task Force
February 26, 2020[3]
Portrait of Debora L. Birx Deborah Birx United States Global AIDS Coordinator
White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator
February 26, 2020[3]
Portrait of Jerome Adams Jerome Adams Surgeon General of the United States February 26, 2020[3]
Portrait of Alex Azar Alex Azar United States Secretary of Health and Human Services January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Stephen E. Biegun Stephen Biegun United States Deputy Secretary of State January 29, 2020[2]
art=Portrait of Robert Blair Robert Blair Senior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Ben Carson Ben Carson United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development March 1, 2020[18]
frameless alt=Portrait of Francis Collins Francis Collins Director of the National Institutes of Health May 15, 2020[16]
Portrait of Ken Cuccinelli Ken Cuccinelli Acting United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Kelvin Droegemeier Kelvin Droegemeier Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy March 1, 2020[18]
Portrait of Thomsas J. Engels Thomas J. Engels Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration May 15, 2020[16]
Portrait of Anthony Fauci Anthony Fauci Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Joe Grogan Joe Grogan Director of the Domestic Policy Council January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Stephen Hahn Stephen Hahn Commissioner of Food and Drugs March 1, 2020[18]
Portrait of Derek Kan Derek Kan Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget January 29, 2020[2]
Picture of Larry Kudlow Larry Kudlow Director of the National Economic Council February 26, 2020[3]
Portrait of Chris Liddell 2017 Chris Liddell White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination January 29, 2020[2]
No image.svg Peter Marks Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research May 15, 2020[16]
frameless alt=Portrait of Steven Mnuchin Steven Mnuchin United States Secretary of the Treasury February 26, 2020[3]
frameless alt=Portrait of Robert C. O'Brien Robert O'Brien National Security Advisor January 29, 2020[2]
frameless alt=Portrait of Sunny Perdue Sonny Perdue United States Secretary of Agriculture May 15, 2020[16]
Portrait of Matthew Pottinger Matthew Pottinger Deputy National Security Advisor January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Robert R. Redfield Robert R. Redfield Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention January 29, 2020[2]
frameless alt=Portrait of Eugene Scalia Eugene Scalia United States Secretary of Labor May 15, 2020[16]
Portrait of Joel Szabat Joel Szabat Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy January 29, 2020[2]
Portrait of Seema Verma Seema Verma Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services March 2, 2020[19]
Portrait of Robert Wilkie Robert Wilkie United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs March 2, 2020[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019)". U.S. Department of State. March 13, 2020. Archived from the original on March 8, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the President's Coronavirus Task Force" (Press release). White House. January 29, 2020. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Santucci J (February 27, 2020). "What we know about the White House coronavirus task force now that Mike Pence is in charge". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 29, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Holshue ML, DeBolt C, Lindquist S, Lofy KH, et al. (March 2020). "First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States". N. Engl. J. Med. 382 (10): 929–936. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2001191. PMC 7092802. PMID 32004427.
  5. ^ Aubrey A (January 31, 2020). "Trump Declares Coronavirus A Public Health Emergency And Restricts Travel From China". NPR. Archived from the original on March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  6. ^ "Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus". White House. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  7. ^ Bolton A (March 10, 2020). "GOP senators tell Trump to make Fauci face of government's coronavirus response". The Hill. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  8. ^ Armour S, Burton TM (March 11, 2020). "HHS Secretary Is Largely Sidelined in U.S. Effort to Battle Coronavirus". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on March 15, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020 – via Proquest.
  9. ^ McCaskill N, Kenen J, Cancryn A (March 16, 2020). "'This is a very bad one': Trump issues new guidelines to stem coronavirus spread". Politico. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  10. ^ Cohen J (March 22, 2020). "'I'm going to keep pushing.' Anthony Fauci tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic". Science Magazine. Archived from the original on March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  11. ^ Coleman J (April 12, 2020). "White House to skip coronavirus briefing for second day in a row". TheHill.com. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  12. ^ Bump P (April 26, 2020). "13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy". Washington Post. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Alba M, Egan L (April 25, 2020). "White House considering scaling back Trump's daily coronavirus briefings in coming weeks". NBC News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  14. ^ Aratani L (April 25, 2020). "Trump says briefings 'not worth the effort' amid fallout from disinfectant comments". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  15. ^ Cillizza C (May 6, 2020). "Why Tuesday was the most important (and scary) day of the coronavirus fight so far". CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "New Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Announced". WhiteHouse.gov (Press release). May 15, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  17. ^ Sciutto, Jim; LeBlanc, Paul (June 1, 2020). "Dr. Anthony Fauci hasn't spoken with Trump in two weeks". CNN. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  18. ^ a b c "Vice President Pence and Secretary Azar Add Key Administration Officials to the Coronavirus Task Force" (Press release). White House. March 1, 2020. Archived from the original on March 4, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Chalfant M (March 2, 2020). "White House adds VA secretary, CMS chief to coronavirus task force". The Hill. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 16, 2020.

Further reading[edit]

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