United States President Donald Trump confirmed on Tuesday that he plans to dismantle his response team to COVID-19, which will leave the government without its crisis room when experts warn that the number of deaths from coronavirus in the country could double. until August.
The response team, which includes respected health experts such as Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, is expected to gradually scale down their operations in the next month and eventually distribute them to different government agencies, said Vice President of the United States, Mike. Pence.
“We are thinking of the Memorial Day holiday (May 25) or the beginning of June as the date when we could start the transition, so that our agencies begin to manage the national response in a more traditional way,” he told reporters. Pence, who leads the group.
Trump confirmed the news shortly afterward, stating that “the country cannot be closed for five years” and that some of the group’s tasks, such as speeding up the production of respirators, no longer make sense.
“Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but now we are thinking of a slightly different way (to respond),” Trump explained during an event in Phoenix, Arizona.
“And that way is security and reopening. And we will probably create a different group for that,” Trump added shortly after landing in the border state, on his first exit from the White House since the end of March.
As Pence indicated shortly before, by the end of May or the beginning of June, the Government expects the outlook to be “very different” from the current one, with the peak in the number of cases already exceeded and more than half of the country’s states in gradual de-escalation process.
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However, the announcement comes just a day after a pandemic evolution prediction model that the White House often looks at updated its calculations to forecast that the crisis will leave more than 134,000 deaths in the United States for the August 4th.
That projection, from the University of Washington Institute of Health Metrics and Assessments (IHME), implies that the number of deaths from COVID-19 would almost double in the next three months compared to the current figure of more than 70,000 deaths. .
Trump himself admitted on Sunday that the pandemic could leave 100,000 deaths, but at the same time defended the multi-state decision to gradually phase out containment measures.
“It is possible that there are some (deaths when reopening the country) because people will no longer be locked up,” Trump acknowledged on Tuesday during an interview with ABC News.
Created at the end of January, the coronavirus task force is made up of about twenty senior officials from different United States Government agencies, who have sometimes clashed with the advice of health experts such as Fauci or Birx.
The recommendations of that working group have not always pleased Trump, eager to revive the economy, and Fauci has repeatedly contradicted the president, the last one on Monday, when he said in an interview that there is “no scientific evidence” that the coronavirus arose in a Chinese laboratory.
However, the breakup of the task force does not amount to a formal dismissal of Fauci, who may continue to head the United States National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Allergies, or Birx, who, before coordinating the group, was leading the country’s efforts to end AIDS in the world.
Trump assured Tuesday that he will continue to receive advice from both when the group dissolves.
What is expected to continue, according to The New York Times, is a second task force led by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, and focused among other topics on overseeing the development of COVID-19 therapeutic treatments.