Trump decides to keep task force because now he knows 'how popular' it is

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The administration said on Tuesday that the task force would wind down as soon as this month after of 'tremendous progress.'

Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he will keep his White House coronavirus task force going "indefinitely," despite saying a day earlier that he would soon wind it down because "we can't keep our country closed for the next five years."

Trump explained at a press spray that he had intended to shut it down — even as an internal White House projection showed the death toll from the pandemic increasing to 3,000 people per day by June 1 — but changed his mind because he discovered the task force is popular. A day earlier, Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, said it was no longer needed due to the "tremendous progress we've made as a country."

From Trump's Wednesday remarks:

DONALD TRUMP: I guess, if you think, we're always winding it down. But you know it's a question of what the end point is. But I think it is a change, a little bit. I thought we could wind it down sooner, but I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday.

 

When I started talking about winding it down, I'd get calls from very respected people saying 'I think it would be better to keep it going, it's done such a good job.'

 

It's a respected task force. It's — I knew it myself, I didn't know whether or not it was appreciated by the public — but it is appreciated by the public.

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Polling shows most Americans disapprove of Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic by an average of 43.7% approval to 50.9% disapproval.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.