Washington (CNN)White House officials have privately weighed appointing a czar to oversee the administration’s response to the growing novel coronavirus outbreak, despite public denials by members of the administration, sources inside the administration and advisers close to the White House say.
President Donald Trump has also privately expressed frustration with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who has taken the lead on coordinating the response so far, and is blaming him for not keeping him updated enough.
Azar told members of Congress on Wednesday that he has been in constant contact with the President and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. But behind closed doors, the President has blamed Azar for not keeping him updated and allowing him to weigh in on crucial decisions.
Trump has also weighed selecting another point person as alarm about the outbreak is on the rise, though he has not followed through on it yet.
Trump is scheduled to hold a 6: 30 p.m. ET news conference at the White House regarding the coronavirus.
The President has been particularly irked that he’s finding out about decisions after people complain to him about them.
One notable instance was the decision to bring the Americans home from a cruise and potentially housing some patients at a FEMA facility in Alabama. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, and representatives from the state objected to the plan directly to Trump.
Lawmakers have also called on Trump to appoint someone to oversee the response, which cam