Trump administration officials have been informing members of the coronavirus task force that their work is nearly done, even as health experts have doubled their projections of how many Americans will become infected and die from the virus, The New York Times reports. President Trump is reportedly planning to quietly push out the task force in the coming weeks without a formal announcement as he moves forward with Phase One of his plan to “open up” the country, according to the Times. The White House has reportedly canceled several crucial task force meetings in recent days as President Trump noticeably distances himself from its members at press briefings.
A senior White House official told CNN Tuesday that while the task force “will be phased down around Memorial Day,” medical experts advising Trump will continue to be accessible. Vice President Mike Pence confirmed the Times report on Tuesday, stating that the White House has been “discussing disbanding the task force.” “We’re having conversations about that,” Pence told reporters.
On Monday, a prominent model from researchers of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation doubled its estimate of how many Americans are expected to die of the virus to 135,000 due to relaxed social distancing guidelines in several states.