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GOP lawmaker calls for White House coronavirus task force to be disbanded
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, is calling for the White House coronavirus task force to be disbanded to prevent health officials from causing President Trump's message about the economy to be "distorted."
"Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump's stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the COVID-19 outbreak," Biggs said in a statement Thursday.
"This is causing panic that compromises our economic recovery. We can protect our most vulnerable from the COVID-19 outbreak while still protecting lives and livelihoods of the rest of the population," he added while calling for the task force's disbandment.
Biggs's statement comes one day after Vice President Pence and members of the task force arrived in Arizona to meet with Gov. Doug Ducey (R) following a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
Maricopa County, a portion of which Biggs represents, has recorded a surge in new cases, with more than 52,000 total cases and 817 deaths, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The U.S. on Wednesday reported 50,000 new COVID-19 cases, the first time it had hit that threshold during the pandemic and as several states have halted plans to reopen.
Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, testified before Congress earlier this week that he would "not be surprised" if the U.S. started reporting as many as 100,000 new virus cases per day.
"I'm very concerned and not satisfied with what's going on because we're going in the wrong direction," Fauci said.
Biggs's statement also comes on the same day the Labor Department announced that 4.8 million jobs were added in June, with unemployment falling to 11.1 percent before recent shutdowns.
The White House coronavirus task force last week held its first briefing in nearly two months amid a surge in new infections across the South and Southwest.