Vice President Pence bulks up Coronavirus Task Force with medical and economic experts

The point person for the government (who will be reporting to Vice President Pence) is Deborah Birx, a longtime leader in the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

From her position within the State Department as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Policy, Birx coordinated the Army, Navy and Air Force in their HIV/AIDS efforts and led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS program.

In addition to Birx, the vice president also appointed to the task force Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

The appointments emphasize the importance the White House is placing on controlling the economic impact of the crisis.

Stock markets have declined significantly over the past week as economists and investors weigh the prospects of much slower growth in 2020 as a result of the global spread of coronavirus.

Tech companies like Microsoft have already issued warnings over the effect coronavirus will have on earnings, and large technology events, including (most recently) Facebook’s developer conference and the Mobile World Congress (which was slated to begin this week) have been cancelled.