Pence confirms Coronavirus task force may end work

Vice President Mike Pence confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that the White House is looking to wind down the special Coronavirus task force which has met in recent weeks about the virus outbreak, as the death toll went over 70,000 Americans.

The story was first reported by the New York Times.

“I think we’re having a conversation about that and about what the proper time is for the task force to complete its work,” Pence told reporters in a discussion in his office on Tuesday.

Pence indicated the 'ongoing efforts' against the virus outbreak would continue, but at individual agencies, rather than a task force anchored at the White House.

"But it’s - it really is all a reflection of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country," Pence said.

Speaking in Arizona, President Trump echoed that assessment.

The news came as President Trump publicly refused to have Dr. Anthony Fauci - a key member of the White House task force - testify publicly before any House committee about the virus outbreak.

Speaking to reporters before leaving on a day trip to Arizona, the President accused Democrats in the House of creating political trouble by inviting Fauci for testimony.

"Because the House is a setup. The House is a bunch of Trump haters," Mr. Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House.

"I will tell you, the House, they should be ashamed of themselves," the President added.

President Trump did not explain why it would be okay for Fauci to testify before committees in the Senate which have Democrats serving on them, but not okay in the House.

A new poll out on Tuesday from Monmouth University again showed the President's job approval ratings far behind those of most Governors.

In the Monmouth poll, the President stands at 43 percent approval, and 51 percent disapproval.

"The month to month shifts are well within the poll’s margin of error, but the overall trendline suggests that the public is growing less satisfied with Trump’s response to the pandemic,” said Patrick Murray, who heads the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll had one very interesting nugget - that when there is a difference between the President and Fox News - Republican viewers are much more likely to believe Mr. Trump than Fox.