“Just weeks after speculation that the White House was dismantling the coronavirus task force, the team is expanding.
The additions include Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and two top government scientists: Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Peter Marks, who directs FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Also joining the task force is Thomas Engels, who heads the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Vice President Mike Pence announced the new members on Friday as the task force enters a phase ‘focused on getting Americans back to work and allowing businesses to reopen.’ The changes add expertise in vaccines and therapeutics as well as worker safety, the White House said.
In early May, the White House was plotting to break up the task force as part of a plan to focus on reopening the economy and speeding up vaccine development. The president reversed his stance the next day and said the task force would continue ‘indefinitely.’”
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