The United States’ White House coronavirus task force will soon be disbanded, as confirmed by President Donald Trump yesterday, despite 20,000 new infections being reported daily throughout the country.
“We are bringing our country back,” Mr Trump said, as reported by BBC during a visit to a mask-manufacturing factory in Arizona. Trump was also wearing safety goggles, but not a face-mask.
“Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening,” the president continued. “And we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.”
The US is also recording more than 1,000 deaths daily and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) is predicting that by next month, more than 3,000 people will be dying every day. However, when Trump was asked whether he believed it was “mission accomplished, he acknowledge that there would be a great human cost to reopening the economy.
“No, not at all. The mission accomplished is when it’s over,” he said. “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.”
Trump also said that the Democratic Party representatives want his coronavirus plan to fail “so that they can win the election”, with the US presidential election set to take place in November.
However, even though the White House will be setting policies for reopening the country, the full course of action will still be down to the individual states, with some Republican-run states in the South and South West, such as Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, Kansas, Nebraska and Indiana, already lifting restrictions and allowing business to resume. However, new cases continue to rise in those states, while Democratic states and their cities such as Detroit, New Orleans and the US epicenter, New York, are starting to see new cases drop, with their respective governors still maintaining strict lockdown restrictions.
Vice President Mike Pence also addressed reporters, saying that the plan is for the country to reopen by the end of the month or the beginning of June.
“[We’re] starting to look at the Memorial Day [late May] window, early June window as a time when we could begin to transition back to having our agencies begin to manage, begin to manage our national response in a more traditional manner,” he said.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, there are 1,204,475 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the US, at the time of writing – more than a third of the total global cases – and 71,078 people have died in the country as a result, so far. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that 135,000 people will have died from COVID-19 by the beginning of August, an estimate that is more than double the forecast from the same body in mid-April.