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Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response in meandering press conference


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Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response in meandering press conference

Stopping short of calling for new travel restrictions or any mandatory measures, President Donald Trump gave a meandering and, at times, confusing press conference intended to calm the public amid the coronavirus outbreak. President Trump put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the “Corona [sic] Task Force,” with the nation’s top public health officials reporting…

Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response in meandering press conference
  • Stopping short of calling for new travel restrictions or any mandatory measures, President Donald Trump gave a meandering and, at times, confusing press conference intended to calm the public amid the coronavirus outbreak. 
  • President Trump put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the “Corona [sic] Task Force,” with the nation’s top public health officials reporting to him.
  • Trump described Pence as “very good at doing what he does, including as it relates to this.”
  • “We’re looking at worst case scenario,” Trump said. “We’re going to be set very quickly.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Flanked by the nation’s top public health officials and his vice president, President Donald Trump riffed his way through a press conference on the American response to the coronavirus.

“We’re looking at worst case scenario,” Trump said at the start of the press conference. “We’re going to be set very quickly.”

Trump announced that he has put Vice President Mike Pence “in charge” of a coronavirus task force, but stopped short of calling for any new travel restrictions or instating any mandatory measures. 

The president meandered his way through his remarks before taking questions, where he — among other things — speculated that the Center for Disease Control could be exaggerating the severity of the virus, low-balled the severity of the outbreak abroad, and quipped “you don’t necessarily have to grab every handrail unless you have to.”

“I don’t think it’s inevitable … Nothing’s inevitable,” Trump said of the outbreak, contradicting previous statements.

The CDC declared this week, “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

After describing Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as doing “a great job,” Trump said Pence will lead the “Corona [sic] Task Force” and have all relevant officials report to him.

Trump said he tapped Pence “because he’s in the administration, and is very good at doing what he does, including as it relates to this.”

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