On Tuesday, as the number of deaths from Covid-19 at the USA topped 70,000, the Trump administration declared”mission accomplished” for Stage 1 of its struggle against the coronavirus.
Especially, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence declared the coronavirus job force, which Mr. Pence manages, was successful in receiving the pandemic under control the team would probably disband over the month, to be substituted with a new panel centered on getting America back to work.
“We have something in another type,” Mr. Trump clarified during his tour using a mask manufacturing plant at Phoenix, where he didn’t put on a mask despite indications asking that you could be worn”constantly ” He explained that America had moved on to”another phase of this struggle” and that”today we’re reopening our nation.”
“It is a manifestation of the enormous progress we have made as a nation,” Mr. Pence told reporters in the White House.
From Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump had shifted the shapes, although not the character, of his strategy. At a tweet thread, he stated the coronavirus task force could, in actuality, “continue indefinitely” but change its attempts — and probably a few of its associates — to”concentrate on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN.” He closed, “The Task Force is also quite concentrated on Vaccines & Therapeutics. Thank you”
Whether dissolved or repurposed, the White House Task Force concentrated on coordinating the government’s public-health reaction to this pandemic is shortly to be no longer. What we can simply say: No major loss.
In theory, bringing together a selection of specialists to oversee a coordinated national response to a nationwide emergency makes great sense. In practice, the initial stage of Mr. Trump’s coronavirus job force was its form of tragedy.
For starters, the president made clear early on that he was not interested in marshaling a coordinated reaction. Time and again, he ducked responsibility, pushing it off to the governors. On challenges that range from acquiring critical health supplies to organizing and enlarging testing (which remains an issue ) to handling social-distancing limitations, the task force has provided always irregular guidance and inadequate aid.
Mr. Trump frequently has sabotaged the recommendations it was made. Whether pushing dangerous remedies of unproven efficacy or advocating his fans into a protest that the fundamental social distancing guidelines set forward by the task force the president has scrambled the public-health message.
Complicating things, multiple factions inside the task force emerged with their strategies and priorities. Included in these are a set of health officials controlled by the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council; some smaller groups of medical physicians concentrated strictly on health issues; and still, another shadow task force directed by Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.
It is little wonder that the task force’s communicating frequently has obscured more than it’s explained.
The general public manifestation of this task force was a set of drifting briefings, where gathered experts from outside and in authorities have ended up as little more than political demonstrations. The briefings frequently have descended to a mix of treatment sessions and campaign agendas, together with the president spending hours every week airing his several grievances, praising himself, parading out industry executives and public officials to laud his direction and spreading misinformation about the virus along with the government’s handling of it.
Where’s the site developed by Google the president in March, guaranteed could shortly enable people nationally to look at their symptoms and”ease testing in a nearby convenient place”? The sprawling, readily accessible network of drive-through testing websites in the parking lots of merchants that Mr. Trump also assured in March remains struggling to creep up. All too frequently, the president has overpromised and underdelivered — he delivered whatsoever. On April 28, Mr. Trump boasted the United States could”shortly” be in a position to run five million analytical tests each day. The following day, he needed to return that claim — insisting, needless to say, he had never left it.
The briefings happen to be a bad use of time for task force members, who help prepare the president’s talking points then need to stand out for hours through his performances. Besides fielding questions from the press, they also will need to respond to (and diplomatically takedown) Mr. Trump’s more harmful crap, like if he mused about potentially injecting Covid-19 patients using a disinfectant. That surreal proposal led the manufacturers of Clorox and Lysol to plead with Americans to not drink or market their merchandise.
So reconfiguring the job force is not likely to get many concrete negative outcomes. It appears largely like a P.R. move, a means for Mr. Trump to push his message untethered in the consensus view of public health officials or public view — which the worst of this pandemic has passed.
In its forthcoming incarnation, the task force is predicted to have a partly fresh cast of characters, without emphasis on scientists and much more on economic advisors. On Tuesday, Mr. Pence noted that government officials have been talking the way to transition the answer to the service level. If it implies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies will be permitted to take control, and endure less meddling from Mr. Trump, all the better.