US President Donald Trump signalled on May 5 that the administration is considering disbanding the White House coronavirus task force as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. During a plant visit in Arizona, Trump lauded Vice President Mike Pence and the task force but emphasised that the administration is now looking at a “different form”.
“And that form is safety and opening. And we'll have a different group probably set up for that,” said Trump.
The US President has been advocating the reopening of the economy ahead of the presidential elections scheduled for November. Wearing safety goggles and no face mask during the tour, Trump admitted that his plan for reopening the economy will have a “human cost” but emphasised that businesses have to reopen soon.
“I’m not saying anything is perfect, and yes, will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” he said.
Pence also hinted at the reopening of businesses during a White House briefing on May 5 saying the US could be in a “very different place” in late May and early June. He said that the administration is looking for the appropriate time for agencies to start managing the pandemic response “in a more traditional way”.
According to the latest report, over 3.7 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide with over 258,000 deaths, overwhelming the health care facilities across the globe. The United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain, are the worst-hit countries due to the pandemic with around 60 per cent of death toll reported from these four countries alone.
The numbers get more sombre for the US as it has reported over 1.2 million cases, almost one-third of the worldwide cases, and more than 72,000 deaths due to the infectious disease. Within the United States, New York has reported over one-fourth of the nationwide coronavirus cases and almost one-tenth of the worldwide cases.