President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a moment when the disease is tearing across the United States at an alarming pace.
Trump, fresh off his reelection loss to President-elect Joe Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after Election Day. And aides say the president has shown little interest in the growing crisis even as new confirmed cases are skyrocketing and hospitals intensive care units in parts of the country are nearing capacity.
Public health experts worry that Trump’s refusal to take aggressive action on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden team during the final two months of his presidency will only worsen the effects of the virus and hinder the nation’s ability to swiftly distribute a vaccine next year.
The White House coronavirus task force held its first post-election meeting Monday. Officials discussed the rising case numbers, the promise of a vaccine in development by Pfizer, and recognized the service of Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, a member of the task force who retired Monday.
But Trump, who does not take part in the task force meetings, remains preoccupied with last