White House task force tracking coronavirus spikes even as Trump says virus is ‘going away’: report

The White House task force has been closely tracking new coronavirus infections in several states around the country, though President Trump has publicly declared that the danger posed by the virus is receding, NBC news reports

The president declared Tuesday during an event in Phoenix that the virus was “going away.”

However, that same day, an internal document from the White House task force obtained by NBC News reportedly showed significant spikes in infections in the Arizona city.

Phoenix had the highest number of infections among 10 metro areas that reported the most dramatic week-over-week case increases, according to NBC.

The coronavirus task force documents also tracked increases in several Texas cities including San Antonio, Houston, Lubbock and College Station as well as in several high-population centers in the state of of Florida including Jacksonville and Orlando counties, among others, according to the report. 

The documents also noted rapid increases in Missouri’s Newton County and California’s San Joaquin Valley. 

The internal document’s findings mirror public reporting from the respective states. The states of Texas, California, Arizona and Florida in particular have suffered record-high numbers of coronavirus cases in recent weeks. 

The news also comes after local leaders in some of these states have reopened economies at a more rapid pace.  

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has paused the state’s plan to reopen, citing a rise in coronavirus cases.

Despite recent surges, Trump appeared optimistic about the coronavirus, touting the economic rebound of the stock market during his visit to Arizona Tuesday. 

“The stock market in the last 50 days is the best stock market in history, and it went up again today, by the way,” Trump said. “This is during, hopefully, the end of the pandemic.”

Trump has been accused of downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic for months, as well as pushing untested forms of treatment for the disease including hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug.

Fifty-five percent of registered voters nationwide said earlier this month that they disapproved of the president’s handling of the pandemic, according to an Reuters-Ipsos poll, while 40 percent said Trump was doing a good job handling the crisis.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump Greg Abbott
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