Coronavirus task force testimony restricted by White House

Wednesday, 06 May, 2020

Last week, the Trump administration blocked Fauci from appearing before a House committee on the subject of spending on coronavirus testing.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington more than doubled its previous projection of about 60,000 total deaths, an increase that it said partly reflects "changes in mobility and social distancing policies".

Reuters did not immediately confirm the report.

It was not clear if another panel would replace it.

White House Coronavirus Task Force officials can not testify to Congress this month unless they get express approval from Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, according to a memo made public on Monday.

"The House is a bunch of Trump haters", he said.

Trump will visit a Honeywell International Inc HON.N aerospace facility in Phoenix that is making protective face masks.

The White House is having conversations about when to wind down its coronavirus task force, and is looking at the possibility of starting to move coordination of the US response to federal agencies around the Memorial Day weekend, Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday.

White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx (L) and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar attend an announcement that the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval for the antiviral drug remdesivir in the Oval Office at the White House May 01, 2020 in Washington, DC.

"This data is not reflective of any of the modelling done by the taskforce or data that the task force has analysed".

President Trump stopped hosting daily task force press briefings after internal polling suggesting that his favorability was taking a hit. Debbie Birx on the idea of injecting disinfectants into coronavirus patients. The report states the increase is almost double the current number of daily COVID-19 deaths.

Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Miller's nomination is part of a pattern of "roadblocks thrown up" by Trump to block oversight of his administration.

"While mitigation didn't fail, I think it's fair to say that it didn't work as well as we expected".

President Donald Trump has been far more optimistic, predicting earlier this week that the death toll would reach as high 100,000 - it has already eclipsed 70,000 - and urging states to move forward with their plans to reopen businesses.

He is now being allowed to testify before the Republican-held Senate, and breaking with the White House's official messaging, Trump claimed his appearance before the House would have been "a setup".