WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence is in charge of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. But so is Deborah Birx, the physician and diplomat who the Trump administration brought on as its response “coordinator.” Then there’s health secretary Alex Azar, the chair of the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Task Force. And of course, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to whom they all seem to defer.
Day after day, as President Trump updates the nation on the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to keep track of the phalanx of government officials behind him. They include doctors, lawyers, researchers, cabinet secretaries, and uniformed members of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. The group is ever shifting: Ben Carson, the housing secretary and a neurosurgeon by training, made one recent appearance. CDC Director Robert Redfield, however, has been noticeably absent at recent press conferences.