The decision to put Mr. Pence in charge was made on Wednesday after the president told some people that the vice president did not “have anything else to do,” according to people familiar with Mr. Trump’s comments.
…Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she had told Mr. Pence directly that she questioned his new role given that as governor, he had “slashed” the public health budget in Indiana.
…The president said that the virus could get worse or better in the days and weeks ahead, but that nobody knows, contradicting Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, one of the country’s leading experts on viruses and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
…“We are dealing with a serious virus,” Dr. Fauci said.
Dr. Fauci has told associates that the White House had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance.
…Mr. Trump has told people that he considers Mr. Azar to be too “alarmist” about the virus.