President Trump on Wednesday said he backed off plans to dissolve the White House coronavirus task force after public outcry, saying he didn’t realize how “popular” the group of medical experts and government leaders was.
“I thought we could wind it down sooner,” Trump told reporters during an Oval Office event recognizing National Nurses Day. “But I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding down. … It is appreciated by the public.”
Trump said he received calls from “very respected people” who urged him to keep the task force intact.
The president said he might add a few more members to the group, though he didn’t mention any names, in a sign that the White House may still pivot the task force to focus on guiding the reopening of the economy.
The task force will eventually cease to exist, Trump said, but he signaled that it would not be until the pandemic has subsided.