Pence tries to project calm as virus response coordinator

National
Donald Trump, Mike Pence

President Donald Trump with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and members of the president’s coronavirus task force speaks during a news conference at the Brady press briefing room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence is moving to project calm in the role of chief coordinator of the government’s response to the new coronavirus, as the Trump administration tries to contain mounting public concerns and steep stock market declines.

Pence convened his first meeting of the Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday, one day after President Donald Trump made him the government’s point-person for the epidemic.

It came amid confusion over who was leading the inter-agency coordinating process to confront the virus. Pence said he was “leading the task force” but Azar would still hold the title of chairman. 

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