Pence reverses position barring coronavirus task force members from appearing on CNN: report

Vice President Pence on Thursday reversed an earlier decision that had barred members of the White House coronavirus task force from appearing on CNN.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield appeared on the network's coronavirus town hall Thursday night, and leading infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Protests risk spread of coronavirus | Health groups: Police brutality is a public health issue, too | Fauci says meetings with Trump have decreased Trump official leading COVID-19 testing to return to regular duties The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Former Rep. Delaney says Trump is spewing venom when he should be leading; Protests roil the nation as fears of new virus outbreaks grow MORE is booked for a Friday appearance, CNN reported Thursday.

It was the first time a task force member has been on the network since April 2, when Pence’s office began prohibiting the officials from appearing on CNN, reportedly in an effort to pressure the network to air the White House press briefings in full each day.


CNN decided to stop airing the briefings live over concerns that Trump's remarks were regularly inaccurate or misleading and impossible to be fact-checked in real time. CNN has aired portions of the briefings, including some segments when Pence and public health officials are speaking and taking questions from the press.

"When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a Pence official told CNN on Thursday morning.

Pence's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Over the past week, the White House made other officials available to CNN, including Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperWhite House: Trump to use 'federal assets' in response to violent protests Overnight Defense: Esper, Milley part of 'command center' for response to protests over George Floyd killing | Several West Point cadets test positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump commencement speech | UN report says Taliban, al Qaeda not breaking ties 'Small number' of West Point cadets test positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump commencement address MORE on "State of the Union" with Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperNational security adviser blames 'a few bad apples,' says there's not systemic racism in law enforcement CNN's Jake Tapper slams 'Trump's unprecedented war on accountability' Ron Johnson says he's not 'crying big crocodile tears' over firing of State Department IG MORE and trade adviser Peter Navarro on "Anderson Cooper 360" and "New Day."