President Donald Trump announced that Vice President Mike Pence would be in charge of the United States coronavirus response at a news conference Wednesday.
Pence will be in charge of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and report directly to Trump.
The task force will be comprised of members of the Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation and the State Department. HHS Secretary Alex Azar has been tapped as the task force’s chairman.
“I’m going to be putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge,” Trump said, “and he’s going to be working with the professionals, doctors and everybody else that is working. The team is brilliant.”
Trump said that the threat of a full pandemic in the U.S. is still low, the situation in coronavirus epicenter China seems to be getting better.
“If you can count on the reports coming out of China,” Trump said, “that spread has gone down quite a bit. The infection seems to have gone down over the last two days. As opposed to getting larger, it’s actually gotten smaller.”
Recent data indicates 10 new cases of coronavirus reported in China, with a total of 2,716 deaths from the infection. In total, 78,074 cases have been reported in China.
Directing his remarks towards Trump, Pence said, “The people of this country can be confident that under your leadership, we will continue to bring the full resources of the federal in coordination with our state and local partners.”