White House adds VA secretary, CMS chief to coronavirus task force
The Trump administration has added Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma to its coronavirus task force.
The office of Vice President Pence, who is overseeing the White House’s response to the disease, announced their additions on Monday.
Wilkie and Verma will join a handful of officials, many of them focused on health and national security issues, already on the task force led by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Pence’s office announced Sunday that the task force would also add Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson, a former brain surgeon; Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn and White House science adviser Kelvin Droegmeier.
Pence has been leading the administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and will brief reporters Monday evening at the White House alongside Ambassador Deborah Birx, a State Department health expert who is coordinating the response to the virus.
President Trump and members of the task force are also scheduled to hold a meeting with pharmaceutical executives at the White House at 3 p.m., which the president has said will focus on discussing the development of a vaccine to combat the virus.