Vice President Mike Pence has taken his first step as head of the president's Coronavirus Task Force, and in so doing he has made crystal clear what the group's goal actually is. Pence has added two of the administration's top economic and finance advisors, Larry Kudlow and Steve Mnuchin, to the list of members.
The purported goal of the coronavirus task force, presumably, is to coordinate the federal government's response to the impending pandemic in an effort to minimize transmission and protect Americans from dying.
But by adding the president's top economic advisor and the Secretary of the Treasury, Pence has made clear the direction from President Donald Trump us exactly what news reports have already stated: Trump put Pence in charge after being "furious" over the stock market being in near free-fall Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Trump trotted Kudlow out to CNBC earlier this week in an attempt to calm the markets, which have dropped about 10 percent from its all-time highs into correction territory. Kudlow lied, claiming the coronavirus in the U.S. was "contained."
"We have contained this. I won’t say ‘air-tight,’ but it’s pretty close to air-tight," Kudlow falsely claimed.
Pence did also add the Surgeon General to the list of members, but again, were the goal of the group to inform and protect the American public, Dr. Jerome Adams would have been the first, not the last person to be named.
The White House claims the Coronavirus Task Force "includes some of the Nation’s foremost experts on infectious diseases," but it includes not a single person who does not currently work for the trump White House or its agencies, including the CDC and the NIH.