White House setting up economic crisis task force focused on reopening country
An announcement could come as early as Tuesday.
The White House is preparing to announce a second coronavirus task force -- this one focused on the economic elements and opening the economy, two senior administration officials and a person familiar with the discussions tell ABC News.
On Friday, President Trump confirmed the announcement would likely come on Tuesday.
“I call it the opening our country task force, or opening our country council,” Trump said, adding that the additional task force would go "beyond economic."
This task force is expected include Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow and some other top administration officials as well as others from the private sector, sources said.
“We’re gonna have the great business leaders, doctors, great doctors, we’re gonna have a great group of people,” Trump said.
President Trump said the work of this additional task force will be distinct from the current coronavirus task force, which is more laser-focused on eradicating the virus.
The news of a potential economic task force was first reported by the Washington Post.
Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will likely lead the team, but sources say his role, nor the makeup of the group, has yet to be finalized.
While the president will not give a date of opening up the economy, the economic task force will focus on ways to have a majority of the country open by April 30. Trump extended the administrations social distancing guidelines to this day.
The White House would not confirm the details of the second task force Thursday morning, but White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the president's first priority is to protect the safety of the American people.
“President Trump’s policies took this economy to record setting historic highs for all Americans but this unforeseen, unprecedented crisis has hurt many workers and businesses," Deere said in a statement.
"The President wants to see this economy open again so people can get back to work, but scientific data will drive the timeline on those decisions because his number one priority is to protect the safety and well-being of the American people.”