Donald Trump claims US flattening COVID-19 curve
The US President and other administration officials said that the White House will wind down the coronavirus task force in coming weeks and focus on restarting the economy.
The United States has flattened the curve on coronavirus and the country is now in the next stage of the battle, President Donald Trump has claimed as the death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 71,000, with more than 1.2 million infections.
"Thanks to the profound commitment of our citizens, we have flattened the curve and countless American lives have been saved. Our country is now in the next stage of the battle. A very safe, phased and gradual reopening of our country," Trump said in his remarks during a visit to a mask-manufacturing factory in Arizona.
The President, along with other administration officials, also said that they had made so much progress in bringing it under control that they planned to wind down the coronavirus task force in the coming weeks and focus the White House on restarting the economy.
He said the task force would be shut down and replaced with an unspecified new advisory body as the country moved into what he called Phase 2 of a response to a pandemic.
During a visit to the plant in Phoenix after weeks holed up at the White House, Trump told journalists: "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. And we'll have a different group probably set up for that.”
TRUMP GOES OUT WITHOUT FACE MASK
The President -- who wore safety goggles but no face mask during his tour of the facility -- was asked if it was "mission accomplished", and he said: "No, not at all. The mission accomplished is when it's over."
Pence said the group would probably wrap up its work around the end of the May, and shift management of the public health response back to the federal agencies whose work it was created to coordinate.
The news to disband the task force comes as the rate of the country's daily new COVID-19 cases and reported deaths plateau. But the influential model created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected a doubling of US deaths -- to 134,000 by August 4 -- and an increased daily death toll as governors, urged on by Trump, relax social distancing measures.
Earlier, participating in a roundtable discussion with Native Americans, Trump described the coronavirus as a tough opponent. "But we are winning and starting to see our country come back," he added.
"It has been a very exciting few days. We are starting to see it all come back. We are improving the lives of Native American families and tribes more than any administration has ever done," Trump said.
But the mission is not accomplished yet, he added.
The United States, he said, is now helping various countries, including providing them with essential medical supplies like ventilators.
"We have more ventilators now than anybody in the world and we are helping France, as you know. We are helping France, Italy, Spain, Nigeria. We are giving I think 250 to Nigeria. We have many countries that we are helping," he added.