by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The White House Coronavirus Task Force has become all but invisible as officials pivot hard to drawing a line under the crisis to focus on reopening businesses, even as several states record an increase in COVID-19 cases.
It has not held a briefing since April 27 and now meets only once a week.
Its members have dialed back media appearances. Instead, Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the task force, will travel to Pennsylvania on Friday as part of the “Great American Comeback Tour” with the Trump-allied America First Policies.
Officials say it is part of a natural realignment. After jumping from crisis to crisis, the time for daily updates has passed, and the work of the task force is now focused on the future, such as reopening schools, they say, while states take on the bulk of the work.
But the danger is that the public becomes complacent even as the virus still claims hundreds of lives every day, according to crisis communications experts.
Chris Rosica, president of Rosica Communications, said opening the country did not mean the national emergency was over. …
… Almost 2 million cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the United States, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University, with a death toll of more than 112,000.
And it is not over, according to two of the leading officials on the task force.
In a conference call with governors this week, Dr. Deborah Birx said the number of cases per day had fallen from about 30,000 in April to 21,000 now. But California, Arizona, and North Carolina were seeing an increase in positive test results.
“That makes us quite concerned,” she said, according to a recording obtained by the Daily Beast.