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“There’ll be more death,” Trump says, urging economic reopening

Enlarge / Trump wore protective eyewear on his May 5 trip to a Honeywell N95 mask factory in Arizona, but not an actual mask. (credit: Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images)

The White House’s coronavirus task force is shifting its focus away from emergency response and toward economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, even as the president openly acknowledges that the cost for easing restrictions affecting the US economy at this time may be paid in human lives.

Vice President Mike Pence told media on Tuesday that the task force managing the federal response to the novel coronavirus could be disbanded in the next month following “the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.” Today, however, President Donald Trump walked Pence’s statement back—sort of.

Trump this morning claimed victory for the task force in a four-tweet thread. “Because of this success,” he concluded, “the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN.” The composition of the task force may now change “as appropriate,” he added, with new members coming on board and old ones leaving, and will “also be very focused on Vaccines & Therapeutics.”

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