Task force whiplash - Trump says it will live on "indefinitely"

A day after telling reporters that it was time to phase out the White House Coronavirus task force and have others in government focus on issues related to the virus outbreak, President Donald Trump on Wednesday pulled a 180 and said the task force would go on 'indefinitely.'

"Because of this success, the Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN," the President said in a series of posts on Twitter.

"We have now a different - it’s sort of a combination of safety and reopening," the President had said on his Tuesday trip to Arizona when asked about the task force. "So we'll have something in a different form."

While meeting with a group of nurses in the Oval Office on Wednesday, the President told reporters he did not realize the task force had been so well received.

“I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday,” Mr. Trump said, saying he had received phone calls urging him to reverse course, and keep the task force operational.

“It is appreciated by the public,” the President added.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump rejected any assertion that he was declaring victory.

"Are you saying “mission accomplished”?" one reporter asked.

"No, no. Not at all. The mission accomplished is when it's over," the President replied. "No, I wouldn’t say that at all."

In his tweets on Wednesday, the President said the task force - in whatever form - will focus on a variety of needs, in terms of public health and opening up businesses and schools.

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